11Hey, friends! I thought I'd pop in and share some updates about our move (or lack thereof—I suppose).

It's kind of a funny story. 

We found our new Nashville house in March, closed on it in May, and started renovating (well, painting mostly and getting quotes from contractors) the very next day. And then I blinked and summer was over, some of our rooms were still gutted and major work was still taking place. Where did the time go? 

To make our situation even funnier, we packed 90% of our home, clothes and work spaces about a month ago. We had a moving truck scheduled and the day before it was supposed to arrive, I got a call from one of my friends who was checking in on the progress who said we should push back our move date because to move at that point would have just been getting in the contractor's way. 

So we pushed back our moving date a few weeks. Then a few weeks later we pushed it back again.

Our renovations have gone a little over budget (another story I will share at some point) and quite a bit over their timeline. If I could go back, I'd probably not try to do so much work long distance before our move date. But there's no going back. Believe me, I tried. Haha! 

So that brings you up to date on what's going on in Larson world. 

Now we REALLY are going to pack up the moving truck this weekend and move next week. Crazy times. 

And to make it even more awkward, everywhere we go in Springfield someone says to us, "How's Nashville?" or, "Oh—are you here visiting?" To which we have to say, "No. We still live here. We're not sure when we're moving." Haha! We've gotten very pro at this conversation. 

3My sweet husband has been the greatest. I couldn't have done it without his daily encouragement and reminders to stay positive. 

I had to let go of a lot of expectations and plans. We had to reschedule a visit from my family to a later date. I had to realize that as soon as we move, I have two weeks to somewhat nest (the thing I am craving more than anything!), and then we're leaving for our Amsterdam/Iceland trip for two weeks. So our busy, unsettled state of being isn't exactly going to slow down for the time being. And we're rolling with it! It's just a little cray. 

4My poor puppies freaked out when we first boxed up the house. They spent a lot of extra time under blankets and in their kennels, I think as a way to feel safe in the midst of change. But, by now, they're over it. They've adapted to our boxed up house and embraced it as normal. 

I'm taking notes from their level of chill. It's unmatched. 

Also—isn't Dolly just the cutest sad baby in her blanket? 

5More than anything, I've realized that if I don't embrace this season (including its imperfections and plans that don't go my way), I'm going to miss it. 

And I don't want to miss autumn. Autumn is my favorite! 

So here's me being open. I'm not trying to complain, I promise. I'm just kind of letting you know what's up with us and what I've been struggling with a little.

I am still VERY excited to nest in our new home, explore Nashville and make new friends. I keep telling myself that by Christmas this will all be over and we'll be decorating up a storm (!!!), brunching with our Nashville friends, watching Home Alone and baking cookies. (My happy thoughts are VERY specific! Haha!) 

Just a few more hurdles and we'll be at the finish line. Send us some virtual fist bumps and high fives if you don't mind? 

Love you guys! Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)       It's kind of a given that somewhere at some point in the moving process, a few items of yours will get broken or damaged. You could wrap everything in seven layers of bubble wrap and it will still happen. It's just one of the joys of moving. That being said, most of the furniture that went into the moving pod painted a light color had to be repainted once it came out on the other side, and I got a few major dings on some dark wood too that were a bit too obvious to ignore. So, what do you do when a furniture item needs a little help? Makeover! 

Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)       We've had these side tables (I think they were from Target originally) for about five years now, and it took moving them to a new place for me to realize they were a bit dull (not to mention scratched now) and could use some sprucing up. Here's what I did to give them some new life: 

Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)       First I took out the drawers, flipped the nightstand upside down, and used a jigsaw to cut the wooden legs flush with the bottom of the nightstand. Once the legs were off, I gave the wood a quick sanding and painted the body and drawers a glossy white.

Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)       Once the paint was dry,  I installed leg plates onto the bottom of the nightstand and attached these mid-century legs that I painted gold.

Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)       I gave the round knobs a quick brush of spray paint and cut down this adorable (and removable!) wallpaper to fit the fronts of the drawers.

Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)       For the final touch, I added these brass campaign chest corners (product E307) to the front of the nightstand at the top and bottom, and my new nightstand was complete!

Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)    Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)       Too cute! nightstand table makeover (click through to see more!)     As you can see, this process resulted in quite the transformation! I can't even believe it's the same nightstand, and to say I love it is a bit of an understatement. The white looks so fresh with the gold accents and the palm paper is the perfect way to add some fun. I feel like I certainly made some lemonade out of my moving-related lemons on this one...xo. Laura

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

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe     It's certainly been fun to get to try lots of new restaurants and such since we moved to Nashville this summer, but it's also been nice to have a few places we were already big fans of from our previous trips to town over the past few years. One of my favorite spots is a popsicle place called Las Paletas that sells some amazing popsicle flavors (avocado popsicle anyone?). I remember one of the first times I went there I got a lime and mint popsicle that was such a breath of fresh air on that hot summer day, and I thought it would be fun to try to make my own version since I can't always run across town every time a popsicle craving hits. Plus, I think it would make the perfect party dessert, so it'd be nice to make my own. I try to do a pretty low refined sugar lifestyle, so I wanted to recreate the treat using Truvia Natural Sweetener.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipeWe actually got to work with Truvia on this post, which was great for me. It really is one of my go-to sweeteners for my eating plan. Plus, it's just easy to use, coming in multiple box sizes for single serving options, but I mostly stick with the jar. :) Anyway, on to the recipe!

Lime + Mint Popsicles

For the Truvia Natural Sweetener simple syrup:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Truvia Natural Sweetener

For the popsicle:

1 cup water
1/4 cup Truvia simple syrup
1 peeled cucumber, chopped
10-12 mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
zest of one lime

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe    To make the simple syrup, add the water and the Truvia Natural Sweetener to a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat until the sweetener dissolves. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature before adding to the recipe.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe  While the syrup is cooling, juice and zest your limes, peel and dice your cucumber, and wash and pick your mint leaves.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe  Add your popsicle ingredients to a blender and puree until all ingredients are smooth.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe        Pour your liquid into a popsicle mold and freeze in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove when frozen and enjoy!

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe       Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe       The crisp mint is perfect with the tart and zesty lime and the cucumber cools off the intensity a bit and gives the popsicle a thicker consistency. These will definitely be making an appearance at my next party (or maybe I'll just keep them for myself!). I love that I only have to walk to my freezer now to get my perfect summer treat and no added sugar means it's guilt-free too. I guess I know how I'll be spending the rest of my end-of-summer afternoons! xo. Laura

P.S. If you've never tried Truvia Natural Sweetener, you can get a free sample here.

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

How to make a square apronHow to sew an apron How to make a no sew apron As you can probably guess, I wear aprons pretty often. I highly recommend them. Honestly I don't think home cooks wear them enough. I cannot tell you how many shirts I have saved because of my love of aprons. No really, I don't know how many because I don't keep track, but it's a lot. Aprons, man, they are awesome. Plus they can be totally cute. 

Anyway, as I mentioned in this post where I shared my first homemade dress, I'm getting into sewing this year. I really want to make a quilt this year, or at least start one. Maybe something like this, which was SO inspiring. But my latest project is two square aprons, one of which I didn't even sew. 

What's a square apron? You can probably guess, but here you go anyway:

Square apronA square apron is made from a square piece of fabric. Which makes it SUPER simple to make, but you can change the size of the square depending on your height and desired fit. 

-23 inch square piece of fabric*
-sewing machine and thread (or none if you do the no sew version)
-1 1/2 yards ribbon, canvas trim or rope for the straps
-4 small grommets (for the no sew version)
-fray check (for the no sew version)

For the sewn apron (black and white stripes), my supplies, not including sewing machine, came to $7.50. For the no sew version (red plaid), my supplies, not including fray check because I already had it, came to $12. 

*The 23 inches I recommend is what works for me. I'm 5'4", so you may want to adjust this some for yourself if you choose to recreate this. Also if you are making this as a gift, try to keep your recipient in mind. :)

First I snipped off a small triangle on the "top" of the apron, to give it that straight line across.

Emma Chapman's sewing machineFor the sewn version I just folded and pinned all around my edges with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then I stitched the edges in place. Then I pressed my edges.

How to sew a simple apronNext I pinned my canvas trim in place. As you can see, it's just one long piece that I can pull over my head. Once I pinned this, I tried it on, careful not to prick myself, and adjusted it a few times so it looked right and was easy to take on and off. Then I stitched it into place and I was done! This was probably a 20 minute project from start to finish for me, which made me feel like a much more experienced seamstress than I am. :)

Please note my little sewing helper in the bottom right of this photo. He follows me from room to room and I have to use my dining room table as a cutting board because there isn't space in my sewing room (we use that room for multiple purposes). So my pug got really worn out and needed a nap at this point. :)

How to make a no sew apron copyBut what if you don't want to sew? Well, then the project gets even easier. You simply cut out your square (This can be an inch smaller than the sewn version since we won't lose any length from sewing the edges). Fray check along all the edges. Attach the grommets to the top and sides. Add rope or ribbon that you can remove later when you need to wash the apron. That's it—way, way easy.

How to make a no sew apronHow to sew an apronThanks for letting me share my latest sewing project with you guys! If you're interested in learning to sew yourself, or just improving your existing sewing skills, I highly recommend Sew With Us, our sewing based eCourse by Rachel Denbow and Katie Shelton. That's what got me into sewing and their course is really, really good and full of fun projects. xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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