Episode #221: Finding Joy in the Little Things


Who doesn’t want to bring more joy in their lives? This week, we are talking about all the little things in life that bring us so much joy. Plus, we are doing our book report on The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston.

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Show Notes:

Nova’s Girl Scout Cookies

Things we find joy in:




Collections: Antiques and art






Little Luxuries: getting lashes refilled, painting nails, and buying a new face cream

Adjusting your expectations so you can truly love something

Rate The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston between 1-5 ghost emojis

Elsie – 4.5

Emma – 4.5

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Episode 221 Transcript:

Elsie:  You’re listening to the beautiful mess podcast, your cozy comfort listen,. Who doesn’t want a little bit more joy in their lives? This week we’re talking about the little things in our life that bring us so much joy. Plus, we’re doing a book report on The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston. Okay, so should we start off with the book report or with the things that bring us joy?

Emma:  Oh, let’s do things that bring us joy.

Elsie:  Okay. Let’s do it. I’m, like, so scared that we put all the same things. How many did you put up? I put five.

Emma:  I put five. 

Elsie:  Great. Okay, we’ll go back and forth. 

Emma:  Now I’m very curious to see if they’re all the same things. Honestly, I would love it. If they’re all five the same. That’d be crazy in a way.

Elsie:  They’re gonna be. Except for one or two. Give me your first one. Okay.

Emma:  My first one is reading. Is that on your list too? Is that on your bingo card?

Elsie:  Yeah, duh it is. Okay. Go ahead.

Emma:  Surprise, surprise. We love reading. I think I talked about this a little bit in the last episode. But reading to me is just such a happy place in life. I love having a book that I’m like, looking forward to picking it back up. I’m like rushing through, you know, folding laundry or whatever stupid task I have so that I can get back to my book. I do listen to audiobooks. I know you’re going to talk about audiobooks, but I tend to be more of a book reader. And I am considering getting an e-reader again. I had one in the past. I had a Kindle and it just wasn’t really my thing. I like having the pages to turn. 

Elsie:  Why are you considering it then? 

Emma:  So I’m considering it, so as our listeners know, I’m pregnant. I’m going to have a baby this summer. My due dates late June. And I’m already planning like what books to like, have in that era, I’m going to do a lot of sexy fairy books that author I believe it’s Sara Mase want to say. So I am looking forward to a maternity leave. And I love babies. And I love breastfeeding. I love breastfeeding my son. Also, it’s a hard time I’m a sleeper. I like to sleep seven to eight hours a night. And you definitely do not get to sleep that much when you have a newborn. And it’s hard. It’s, you know, a difficult time where you’re trying to keep your attitude up. But you’re like, man, I wish I could sleep more.  So I’m like planning a book that I can at least be looking forward to reading while I’m breastfeeding at night or whatever I’m doing, you know, getting up with the baby. And sometimes you’re not reading but there are long stretches where they’re just eating and you’re feeding them with a bottle or your boob or whatever. And you’re just sitting there. So having something to look forward to reading at 4am. Yeah, is kind of a high bar. So I’m really just wanting like, what I would consider somewhat junk food reads, and the sexy fairy books really do it for me because they are for me, highly addictive. And this is not me dissing them by the way. This is me saying how wonderful I love them because they’re what I’m saving for my maternity leave. 

Elsie:  Did you finish the first series? 

Emma:  No, I haven’t finished it because I don’t like to be a reader who like speeds through all one author. I like to kind of pace them out. Especially if I find like a trilogy that I’m really into. I really like kind of spacing it out because then I’m like, looking forward to it. But I think I am going to speed through a lot of them during the maternity leaves. So that’s why I’m considering an e-reader too, because you do a lot of things one handed when you have a baby because you’re holding the baby a lot. So you eat your meals one handed, you learn to do a lot of things one handed, and holding big books one handed is really hard, like you drop them a lot. So I’m like maybe I should just get an e-reader even though I kind of have this feeling that I won’t want to keep it after that phase of life. Like I’ll probably want to go back to books because I just like having them on my shelf. I like turning the pages. I just like it. And you know, just for fun, readings for fun. So I’m like, why not do the thing I like so I almost like want to just like borrow someone’s e-reader for six months. 

Elsie:  Give it to me when you’re done because I want one for the kids. 

Emma:  Okay, maybe I’ll do that then because I don’t want to buy one and only use it for six months. It makes me feel so wasteful. But I also was like, can you rent an e-reader? I don’t think so. So anyway, this is my dumb thing. But I love reading so much. So I’m like planning what I’m going to read during this slightly hard season.

Elsie:  I think that’s really smart to give yourself treats. 

Emma:  Yeah, and to me reading is definitely a treat. And I like all sorts of different genres. But there are some that feel more addictive to me than others. I definitely read a lot of romance, not just fantasy romance. I like historical romance. I like Modern Romance. To me that’s like a very like fun read. Like if I’m a little bit sad or it’s wintertime. I’m like, give me that romance. Yeah, I like all sorts of things. I love thrillers, obviously.  I also like nonfiction. I’m pretty eclectic in my reading. And I also like that you and I tend to be slightly different on our fiction reads.

Elsie:  You always say that.

Emma:  You like a little more general fiction than I do. I’m a little more genre than you are because  you’re not against fantasy but it’s not like a big thing for you necessarily and I’m like dragons sign me up.

Elsie:  I’m obsessed with fantasy but I’m like hard to please. I’m like easily disappointed by it which isn’t good. 

Emma:  And you like more moody things, a little bit more artistic.

Elsie:  That’s true I like to cry. 

Emma:  You like to cry. I do not like to cry very much. I like to be a little bit spooked. Like you scare me, I like that. But I don’t really like to cry too much. I also do cry though, during romance a lot, which is very funny, but I do. So I think I’m an easy cry. And so I’m like, I don’t want this sad. I don’t like to cry because I’m sad. I want to cry because like they finally got together, or you know, something happy. I like a happy cry, I guess. Anyway, reading is definitely one of those little joys in life. And I also find a lot of joy being in places that have lots of books. So bookstores, libraries, and I love to buy books and check out books, but I also just like the feeling of being around a lot of books. I think it’s a very peaceful thing. And I think part of it is growing up when you go to public schools, really any institution type thing like that, it could be a boarding school, or whatever, I went to public schools. There’s a lot of times where you’re like, if you’re the type of person who’s a little bit introverted, and likes to be alone, and likes like low audio environments, there’s sometimes you don’t get a choice, right? Like you’re just in the cafeteria, and it’s loud, or like, certain teachers would like play music during test because it does help other students. But for me, it always kind of bothered me. So for me, being in the library was like, a really nice place to be. Even if I wasn’t there to check out a book. I just wanted to be in there.

Elsie:  Emma has always been this way. When we had our store, she like hated it that I played music and it’s like, you kind of have to.

Emma:  I don’t hate music but I just like a lot of peace and quiet. I’m a very like seeking peace constantly person. 

Elsie:  You should get one of those little grandma water fountains. 

Emma:  I used to have one, like in middle school in my room, the little waterphone. Yeah. Anyway, yeah. So reading. reading is definitely a little joy for me.

Elsie:  I love it. Okay, I’ll do audiobooks since we’re on the subject already. So I love reading paper books. But audio books are like very practical for me in this time of life. I’ll tell you all the times I read them because people always ask me like, how do you read so many books? And I read them when I’m driving. When I’m waiting for kid, you know, well, that can pick waiting, waiting, waiting. Anytime I’m cleaning. And anytime I’m doing any kind of work except for writing. I can’t obviously, do it when I’m writing. Yeah, but any other like when I’m doing photography or any other work? I can handle the audiobook. So yeah, that’s pretty much all day every day. And even sometimes at night before bed. I listened to them. Like it’s just like, I love it. So yeah, I think that the cool thing about audiobooks is you can read really, really fast. Even if you have a busy life. That’s like active, you know, taking walks anyway, all of it. Oh, yeah, painting, all the things pretty much everything except for writing or I’m playing with my kids. My kids like hate my books. And they don’t like it when I even have my headphones in. And so that’s like a little bit of a problem. So I either have to hide it from them but it’s ok you shouldn’t listen to them 24 hours a day. But yeah, I love the art of audiobooks. Seems like a lot of the people who read audiobooks are actors. It’s like often they’re like a screen actor, a Broadway actor. It’s just like all kinds of cool people. Anyway, I do like to read a big variety of books, like what Emma was saying, maybe like a little bit more literary fiction, but pretty much all the same stuff. I don’t like to read a lot of romance books in a row. Think I like to read one every once in a while, like one a month and same with nonfiction. I don’t like to read nonfiction books in a row because you know, there it can all blend together. It already kind of does. Like it’s hard to recall when you think of like a self help concept, which book it came from when you read, you know, like a bunch of them.

Emma:  Yeah, sometimes like a biography or an autobiography too, which is a different form of nonfiction. But I feel like I get into kicks where I’m, like, kind of into reading like Audrey Hepburn’s biography, or you know, whatever. I just like get into these little boats for awhile.

Elsie:  Yeah, no, I like that, celebrity memoirs. So celebrity memoirs, there’s only usually like a few, like, amazing ones each year, but there’s always at least one or two amazing ones every single year. So that’s fun. But yeah, anyway, love audiobooks. It’s definitely still counts as reading. It is like a way to if you want to just like get into reading with a low barrier of entry. Like you don’t have to sit. For me if I had to sit and read a book every time I wouldn’t be able to read very much because I’m not traveling very much in my life right now. And just like sitting down reading a book, is it always appealing to me. But yeah, like listening to one it’s like it’s super appealing. 

Emma:  Sitting down and reading is a whole different, you need the use of your hands more than likely unless you have some kind of device. So it’s just different. Whereas you can be doing things while you’re listening to an audio book. So you can be folding laundry, doing dishes, whatever.

Elsie:  And I felt like my children are already because of the Yoto players. They’re already like, they have an appreciation for like the talent in the production of an audiobook because I started to read Harry Potter to them. And they, Emma knows the story, they were like, Mama, you’re not doing enough voices. Like Mama, you’re reading so boring. And I thought I was doing a good job. I was trying.

Emma:  She got booed off the stage. 

Elsie:  And then we started reading the Jim Dale production that like, you know, and it’s a whole thing. And they were like, instantly, yes, immediately yes. So I just sit there with the book in my heads with my phone out. And we listen to it together. And it’s sort of like reading, but it’s sort of, I guess it’s easier, and they’re enjoying it more. It’s more entertaining for them. But yeah, it’s definitely like a talent that people have. 

Emma:  Kids can be brutally honest. No, I’m not interested in you doing it. Okay. Wow. That’s funny.

Elsie:  Okay, what’s your next?

Emma:  My next one is desserts. 

Elsie:  Oh okay. Say everything.

Emma:  Okay, so let me start with this. You know, we love a disclaimer, I don’t have anything to say about health, weight, none of that. I’m not interested in talking about that right now. I think that food can get so wrapped up in that, and I get that and it’s an important conversation. That is not what I am talking about right now. 

Elsie:  Yeah. Or like ever on this podcast. 

Emma:  Yeah, I have. I have nothing good to say don’t listen to me on any of that. I don’t know I’m learning too, anyway. So let me start by saying one thing that our great grandma Lula, who lived to be like 102 or 103, she was basically in the blue zone. She figured it out. My mom said that piece of advice. Great Grandma Lula had was she was like, I’m always looking forward to my next meal. And that was like one of her secrets to like a long, happy life was to always be looking forward to your next meal. I think that advice is like, so simple and so good. And as someone who loves eating, I know, some people don’t care about eating, that’s totally cool. But I love eating. I also love cooking. And I just have certain foods I love that I get excited about that I think about and for me, like, whenever I got my big tattoos the entire time, I was thinking about what I was going to eat later. Because it’s like my way to like, get through something difficult. I can guarantee this summer when I deliver our son, I will be thinking about what I can eat later or the next day, because it’s just a way to get through what can be kind of a difficult moment for me. So I completely understand my great grandmother Lula being like, a secret to a happy life is is thinking about your next meal and looking forward to your next meal. So for me, I’m often thinking about like, desserts or little treats that I want to have later. And of course, I don’t do that every single day. I don’t have time to do it every single day. But I have a lot of like little things that are like my little treats and things around town or the other day I got like really fixated on getting a bagel from Panera, but then they were all out of the blueberry and that was a big problem for me. Because I was just really looking for and a lot of times they’re really simple thing only. 

Elsie:  I only get the cinnamon one. 

Emma:  Too crunchy for me. Yeah, sometimes I’m in the mood for the cheese one, but not some this time I really was wanting the blueberry with some cream cheese frosting or not frosting just cream cheese. I mean, it’s basically frosting. But yeah, and yeah, I’m a big fan of I’ve mentioned this before, but I love Andy’s Frozen Custard which is kind of a regional thing but it’s definitely a Springfield thing.

Elsie:  My kids call it beautiful, gorgeous spinning ice cream cone.

Emma:  Oscar always notices the ice cream cone too and yeah, desserts and just little treats is a thing for me that I will plan and I like looking forward to it. Like if I know that my husband and I are going to go on a date to like a certain restaurant, especially if we’re traveling. I’m one of the people that I will sometimes look up the menu ahead of time because it’s not that I’m necessarily worried or something I just like looking forward. I like adding that to the experience of eating of like I’m looking forward to having my favorite pasta on Friday for my birthday or whatever and I’m thinking about it for like two weeks and it’s not like I’m not eating other food in the meantime that I’m enjoying I am but I just like the anticipation. 

Elsie:  That’s wonderful. I love that.

Emma:  So as far as little joys that does it for me. And I also love sometimes having time to cook something fun. Like for my birthday, one of the nights, Oscar stayed the night with her mom, he had a grandma night. And the next morning, I didn’t have Oscar time, because he was over at grandma’s and I baked my own birthday cake. Mom was like, you don’t have to bake your own birthday cake. Tell me what cake you want. I’ll bake it, you know, our mom’s really sweet like that. And she’s a great baker. But I was like, Mom, actually, I’d like to bake it because Oscar won’t be home. He loves to help in the kitchen. And that’s really sweet. But that’s a whole different thing than when I get to sit and cook by myself and just kind of listened to my own podcast that I want to listen to, or whatever, and make something that I’m excited about. Try out a new recipe that I haven’t tried before or whatever. And I also liked the process of making food sometimes thinking about eating it, which this was a chocolate cake, and I was looking forward to eating it.

Elsie:  Oh, that was cute. I love that. It’s a perfect little joy in life.

Emma:  I think so. 

Elsie:  My next one is walks. Did you put walks? 

Emma:  Yes. 

Elsie:  Yeah, I bet you did. Okay, so the thing I love about walks is obviously like it’s nice getting fresh air. It’s nice getting exercise. You can listen to your audiobook. Yeah, get a little sunlight. But the thing I really like is looking at everyone’s houses. I just like to like look in detail. Especially when you’re planning renovations, like last summer, I remember I was like walking the entire neighborhood looking at what color everyone’s porch was, because it’s like not a thing you notice until you like need to do your own porch. And there’s so many little things like that like looking at all the picket fences when we were getting a picket fence and like, you know, so, yeah, walks is like one of the greatest things in my life and probably like, the biggest upgrade. When we moved from our McMansion in Tennessee to here, there was kind of a lot of people that were like, oh, your house is like not as smooth mansion is nice. Which is like it’s not as mansiony, but like the difference between a walk where all you get to look at is other McMansions and a walk where you get to look at like 100 historic homes, to me is like it’s not a con. It’s not even a contest like you can’t replace that. 

Emma:  I walked in your old neighborhood and I’ve walked in your current neighborhood and by far your current neighborhood is a much better walk.

Elsie:  Yeah, it’s magical. And I liked my McMansion too. So, no shame towards the McMansion life. It had its good things for sure. But yeah, like the walks. So yeah, I love like, you know, just I don’t know the weird stuff like the mailboxes, seeing what flowers people plant in their yard, just like all the little things. And then yes, our neighborhood is an extreme Halloween neighborhood, which iskinda like 90% of my identity.

Emma:  Shout out to everyone who does holiday decor on the outside of their house so that us who are out there walking can enjoy it, because it is wonderful. And I love it. And if you know if you don’t even decorate the inside, and you’re just kind of do in the outside for your neighbors. Thank you. I see you and I love it. It makes me so happy. 

Elsie:  I agree. Yeah, love it.

Emma:  Yeah, walks was on my list to love walking outside. And I also think we mentioned this in a previous episode, but I love going on a walk with friends sometime. I think it’s a great time to catch up because it’s like you can get your sunlight and your steps and you are maybe already going to go. And now you can chat with a friend a little bit about what they’ve been up to what life’s like for them. And sometimes that lines up with other people’s schedules. Sometimes it doesn’t. It just depends, but it’s nice.

Elsie:  Okay, what’s your next one?

Emma:  Okay, next one is I’m gonna call it little luxuries. 

Elsie:  It sounds good. I don’t know what it means. 

Emma:  Well, for me, my biggest one is probably getting my lashes done. Once a month, I get my lashes refilled. I’m an lash extension gal. And I love it. And I think when I was first getting it done years ago, I would always go back and forth about it like oh, should I really spend money on this? Am I just being vain? Am I you know, having this appointment when I should be working? And you know, especially once I had my son I’m like, you know, I would get my appointment during daycare hours because I can’t take him he would be so bored. He would destroy her room while we’re there, you know? And yeah, and I’m like my son’s in daycare so I can get my lashes done. Am I a terrible mother? Like sometimes these things go through your mind and I think I’ve really settled on. No, this is great. This is one of my little joys and I love it. I love getting my lashes done. One of my favorite features is my eyes. I have these blue eyes. My son has really blue eyes too. I think he might have got it from me. And I love them. So I feel like my lashes kind of show off my eyes. more. And I honestly just love laying down and closing my eyes for an hour to an hour and a half and somebody else takes care of something for me. Yeah, it’s nice. It’s such a luxury. My lash gal is awesome. Her name is Brittany. We chat a lot. But she also doesn’t care if you want to like pop in an audio book or whatever. She’s like do your thing and I love it. So it’s things like that. I also like to paint my nails. I’m more of a paint my nails at home person, just because I already have my lash appointment, I guess. But just little luxuries like that. Buying a new face cream, just letting yourself buy little things that are just what I would call little luxuries. Like just something fun that makes you feel good. And for me, a lot of them tend to be kind of cosmetic. But it’s honestly not even really a vain thing I don’t even think my husband cares most of the time. It’s just like stuff I like I’m just like, I’m into this. So here we go. 

Elsie:  I definitely participate in that too. Even though it’s not on here. I think that life should be a little luxury all the time. A little spa night every night. I love it. No, I love it. Skincare all of it. Wonderful. Okay, my next one is collections. So collecting things is something that brings me a lot of joy. My main collections right now are antiques and art. So I’m kind of just working on my house right now, I was thinking about collecting poison rings too. When we were on our little trip I was finding these little rings from the Victorian era where you could like hide your poison. It’s basically like a locket ring is what it looks like. And there’s like 1000s of them on Etsy. And I don’t know, I thought it was like, pretty magical. So I like stuff like that like weird stuff. And usually when it’s an antique, I don’t buy just one. I like to have like a set of them. You know, like I like to go deep into each of that antique collections. Anyway, as far as art, I mostly collect vintage art or antique art. Because I’m mostly into old paintings and our whole downstairs, it’s mostly vintage. But I will say if you want to rob me go through the whole house and just take the contemporary art, if you just want the money, because I think it’s you know, it’s smaller, it’s worth more. It’s it’s easier to carry if you’re a robber. And yeah, I don’t know, antique art you can like you can find it from a thrift store too. It’s like you never really know which ones are the expensive ones you’ll never be able to tell.

Emma:  Now I’m just thinking about what I would steal if I broke into your house. 

Elsie:  Definitely take the contemporary art.

Emma:  I’m gonna need a truck. 

Elsie:  It’s funny. I don’t really have anything to steal, I guess. But don’t take my platinum record. You knows the Platinum, it’s my everything.

Emma:  It’s cool man. Jeremy is cool for having one.

Elsie:  Stay away from that. I need to anchor it to the wall. 

Emma:  Yeah. Could have an alarm. 

Elsie:  I need to put Home Alone traps around it.

Emma:  You get shot with a Nerf gun. 

Elsie:  Okay, you like I refer to it as my platinum record. 

Emma:  I noticed that.

Elsie:  So collecting art collecting antiques collecting, just like I don’t know, I want my whole house to be like Knives Out where the beginning of Knives Out when, you go through the whole house. And you’re like, there’s a story behind every corner of this home. That’s how I want it to feel. And obviously that takes years. And like lots and lots of layers. So I’m committed to that vision. And I’m just like, little more every month, a little more every year. 

Emma:  I think too. It really reminds me of both our grandmother’s but especially our grandmother Carina. She just had lots of weird things in our house weird pieces of art and figurines and things from trips she’d been on and she had very eclectic taste. And we played with all that stuff when we were kids. And I just have really vivid memories of some of that stuff in our house. And our other grandma, the one who’s in pink house now, Norma, she also has collections of things, lots of porcelain figurines very different vibe. She had a very, very different style than Carina.

Elsie:  She has a really good like, light up Christmas House.

Emma:  The Christmas house village. Yeah. And when Oscar and I would go over there around the Christmas season, he was immediately obsessed. I feel like it’s like a kid magnet. Certain collections like that, like at Christmas Village or whatever. 

Elsie:  My kids love going to her house. 

Emma:  Yeah. So I feel like it gives like something, it’s just a fun thing. And I mean, kids are more upfront about it. But like adults want to see the collections in your house too. Like I love looking at someone’s bookshelf and seeing all their like little brass figurines or whatever it is that they collect seeing someone’s art in their house. I feel like you learned so much about someone when you see like all the art they’ve collected in their house. It’s so fun. So yeah, I love that about you that you’re always collecting. 

Elsie:  It’s definitely a little joy because it’s Like, you can add a little thing. And it’s not necessarily expensive. And it’s just like and I’m always like having something to search for, or like look up or like the, you know, list for the flea markets and things like that. Okay, what’s your next one?

Emma:  Okay. This is my last one. This episode is about joy and little things. And I don’t know if this really be a little thing. So maybe I cheated. But I just like, as I was thinking about this episode, and like making my list, I just felt like this sort of fit on there. So I’m just going for it. So we were talking about this on our trip, actually, it’s basically, if I had to sum it up, it’s like adjusting your expectations, so that you can truly love something. And for me, I’ve really been on this little journey the last few months, like three, four months with it about parenting, because I think that, like everybody does this with different arenas. So let me pick a different thing. So like, a lot of times, people think as soon as I get my dream job, I’ll be happy, happily ever after. As soon as I get married, I’ll be happy, happily ever after. And for me, I think I did kind of have this like, as soon as I’m a mom, as soon as I’m a parent, happily ever after because that’s the thing I really want and I was really longing for. And now that I’m in it, you know, my son’s two and a half, and then I’m expecting another kid. I do love being a parent. But it was not the happily ever after that I like, put the pressure for it to be. And not because there’s anything about it that I’m disappointed with. It’s honestly very much what I was expecting. And my son’s awesome and so fun. I think I just didn’t have the right expectations. And so I noticed that I was getting like a little bit more frustrated with it. Like if we went and did something on the weekend. And it turned out he had a fit at the end of it or something because surprise he’s a toddler. And I would be like so disappointed. And I was just like noticing that these little moments inside me not really anything that I was expressing where I just felt like, kind of deflated about it. And I was like, oh, I think I was just putting too much on this. I think I was expecting too much from it. And if I just change that in me, then I might just love this more, because it’s not a happily ever after. It’s hard work. And it’s wonderful. And it’s kind of everything all at once. You know, I don’t feel like I did that so much with careers or with getting married. But I think I did with parenting and everybody’s different with what they do it with. Maybe some people don’t do it at all. But just like switching that in my brain, which I’ve been working on now for a few months. Like I said, I’ve been kind of like processing it in my own mind talking about it with close friends. Now I’m talking about on a podcast, I can really tell that I’m kind of like having a lot more fun with parenting because I just have the right expectations for it now where I’m not expecting it to fulfill me in all these really big ways. I’m just like, loving it for what it is. And I think it’s kind of a small change, but it feels kind of bigger, but it really wasn’t. It didn’t take like a lot of work or a lot of deep therapy or really anything like that. It just took me realizing that I had the wrong expectations around this thing. And if I just took the pressure off of that, then I could just enjoy it for what it is more and yeah, so in that way I just feel a lot more joyful and light about it. And it’s not like it’s solved anything or it changed it necessarily, but I’m just having a lot more joy with it.

Elsie:  That’s good. I love that. Yeah, that that makes perfect sense. It’s definitely a marathon. And it’s full of like the highs and lows can be pretty intense, makes sense. It’s not like the movies,

Emma:  It’s not like movies. Nothing ever is.

Elsie:  Okay, speaking of my last one is movies. Oh, so I love movies. I love movies more than almost anything. It’s probably the most thing that I love in this world that I’m not trying to do with my career. Like I always like collect things if I love it I try to like do it a little bit but movies I like I’m not worthy.  I just like I’m a fan. I just think that it’s so amazing. I mean I love novels too. But it’s like movies are so fantastical you know what I mean? Just the things that people go through to make them happen I think is such like a marvel. Yeah, I’m just obsessed with it. So anyway, any kind of movie, I think I have like a pretty good variety like of different movies that I love but let me think what’s my most favorite? I think my most favorite are I think it’s just the the ones like we do on the podcast like the really cozy set designs. Where like they’re really really detailed. Yeah, the fixation I have on like the Home Alone house or the Knives Out house or The Practical Magic house, that’s real. There’s just like nothing in this world that is more like, even like the set of The Office, you know, which is like, it’s not necessarily beautiful, but it’s like, I’m obsessed with it. So I don’t know. I just think that movies, I like love. I love actors. I love celebrity trivia. It’s like one of my hobbies. And I love like, knowing if, you know, like, if a movie came from a book, or if, like, if it was just made from like, I don’t know, it’s so interesting. 

Emma:  Yeah, no, I agree. Honestly, I think if I’d analyzed it more when I was 18, I think wanting to be an actor was in large part just like, loving movies, and storytelling generally. 

Elsie:  Yeah. Like, I sometimes am jealous, likeEmma moved to LA, to try to do acting. And I, like sometimes think about, like, what if I went with her and just tried to do something with movies? Like, I think there’s always going to be a part of me, that’s like, I’m obsessed with them so much that I just want to like, be some part of it. So maybe someday there will be like, I don’t know, some kind of a way to help with some movie. But yeah, it’s definitely a magical industry. That’s very inspiring. 

Emma:  Yeah, and very weird. And I also am always fascinated by like art projects that take a huge group. Because it’s very different from anything that I usually do. I usually just like write my own book, or make my own painting or make a little necklace or whatever little hobby I have, you know, of creativity. So to see like projects that take like, huge crews and writers and actors, and I’ll just like so many different people have to be involved. It’s kind of a miracle that any of them get made at all. When you think about it. It’s wild, honestly. And it’s just a weird, weird, interesting industry.

Elsie:  Yeah, it’s so cool. It is yeah. Ah, okay, so I guess book report time. 

Emma:  Yes. We’re talking about the dead romantics. Do you want to give a synopsis? 

Elsie:  I can say the synopsis. 

Emma:  We’re probably gonna have spoilers in this so ifyou haven’t read it yet. And I will say I think this is not really a mystery or anything, but there are some things you probably wouldn’t want to know if you’re going to read this

Elsie:  If you’re planning to read it then it’s time to skip ahead to Nova’s joke, but I will say I recommend this upfront. Like this was like, a really good one. It’s like a very fun super fast page turner. 

Emma:  Yeah, love story, Spooky love story. 

Elsie:  It’s on the spooky side. It’s not actually spooky. It’s more like fake. spooky, but it’s cute spooky. 

Emma:  Yeah, it’s cute spooky.  It’s like if a modern romance was like, but let’s make it a little Halloweeny. Just a little bit. 

Elsie:  Yeah, I love it. Okay, so the synopsis. So The Dead Romantics is a story about a ghost writer named Florence. She’s ghost writing for a super famous romance author. So she’s supposed to be like, top shelf, like very famous. And she’s written like several books. Like she’s on her fourth one, I think out of like a contract. And so it’s gonna be her last one. So she’s like, going to her new editor to try to get an extension and he ends up being super hot. And you’re like, okay, like, you know, when the hot guy enters a romance book, you’re like,.

Emma:  You’re like, here we go. Especially if they don’t like each other at first, you’re like, here we go. 

Elsie:  Yep, it is what it is. So anyway, she goes to visit her family for her dad’s funeral shortly after that. And it turns out that the new hot editor is now a ghost who is visiting her because he is dead. 

Emma:  And her and her dad, who’s now deceased had this thing where they could both see ghosts. And he was a funeral director. And she doesn’t like this part of herself, because she saw ghosts as a child, and solved a mystery. And everyone treated her like she’s a weirdo because of that. 

Elsie:  Yeah. So she hasn’t gotten back to her hometown to visit her family in 10 years, they’ve only visited her and I was like, okay, what and anyway, so hot man ghost keeps visiting her. And they’re trying to plan her dad’s funeral and execute the funeral. And her dad’s not a ghost. It’s just the editor man, Ben. And they’re like getting pretty cozy. And yeah, Emma and I were basically like, we’re reading it at the same time and we were on a vacation together and we were like, how are they gonna do the ghost sex? 

Emma:  I was like, I guess there’s gonna be go ghost sex. I don’t know if it’s going to be satisfying. What’s going to happen here? 

Elsie:  Yeah. So it’s like the perfect storm because you’re like, these two characters must be having sex soon. But it is impossible because one is a ghost. And  you touch it and it goes through the body. 

Emma:  In this world ghost, your hand would go to their body.

Elsie:  Yeah. So anyway, I don’t know if we should tell the ending but they figure out a way. And it happens. And I felt that it was like a pretty cute romantic book and fun. It was very quick. I think I read it in like two or three days. And it was joyful. It was fun. It’s not spooky. I think that if you were like someone who doesn’t even like spooky stuff, you could like use this as your Halloween book just to like, yeah, have one and like sort of like it’s not spooky at all. And yeah, like my comments were basically like, I mean, it’s a little silly, but it’s like fun. And it’s meant to be that way.  I thought it was really good for romance book. I kind of get bored with them because they think they’re all the same. It’s like a tough category for me. And this one definitely had enough things that made it different. But I will say that Emma ruined the twist for me. She was like, she predicted it. And she like predicted everything exactly. And then it kind of like ruined it.

Emma:  There’s one thing I didn’t predict. But also, I almost never predict endings. I’m actually really bad at it. So I feel like this was one time that I did. And so I didn’t mean to ruin it because usually I’m wrong. 

Elsie:  It’s okay.  I should have actually known that was coming.  Anyway, I will give this book four or five ghosty emojis, four point five.

Emma:  Yeah,  I would give it like four point five too. I read quite a bit of romance. And I feel like it is a tough formula because it can feel the same all the time in some ways. So I really loved what this author did with it, the creativity of it pretty early on the Ben character dies. And so you’re like, oh, this is taking a turn. And that’s fun, it is an interesting choice. I also haven’t really read a modern romance that felt a little spooky, or was trying to delve into some afterlife things or this or that. And so I thought that was really fun and pretty well done. I overall really really liked it, really enjoyed it. If you like romance at all, I think you’ll like this. It’s very fun. So my other friends who like romance we’re always talking about like, where’s it at on the level of sex? Because like so much it’s like very light.

Elsie:  The spice a meter. 

Emma:  Yeah,where’s it on the spice a meter. And this one to me is like, middle to low. Not tons of spice. 

Elsie:  Let me put it this way, I am allowed to send my 14 year old niece age appropriate books. And I would definitely send this one. Yeah, this would be fine. Like down there with like, The Fourth Wing. Like it this like a little bit of sex, but not really. 

Emma:  Yeah, it’s pretty mild. So not too spicy. And some people prefer that they don’t some people don’t like too much spice. Some people are like, I need a crazy, spicy scene, something I’ve never even heard of before or I’m bored. And I get that too. I understand both perspectives. So this one is more on the light. So if you enjoy that I like all of it. I’m interested in the whole scale of spiciness.  So yeah, I thought this was really fun. But it’s very unique for a romance. So very worth the read in my opinion.

Elsie:  It’s very charming and adorable. And I’m glad that it exists. I’m glad  we read it. Yeah. And I kind of feel like we were lucky to find it. 

Emma: I’m almost 100% that a podcast listener sent this because you all send us book recommendations fairly often. And if I haven’t mentioned this before, I am buying pretty much all of them off of thrift books, and they’re sitting on my shelf. And some I like more than others I must say, but this one I’m pretty sure it came from a podcast listener and they were right, because I love it. 

Elsie:  Yeah, it was cute. Okay, we love it. All right, let’s go to Nova’s segment. All right, Nova, what do you have for us this week?

Nova:  A joke.  Before that, I just wanted to say thank you for buying my cookies. I hope you guys love them. I hope they’re yummy. My favorite is the adventure falls. So thank you again. And well I just wanted to say, let’s get into some jokes. What’s a pavement favorite kind of dessert? 

Elsie:  What is it? 

Nova:  An Oreo concrete.

Elsie:  Yeah, that’s a good one. I think it works.  Alright, thank you so much for listening. We hope this episode brought you some joy. We’re so grateful for all your love and support. And we’ll be back next week with a comfort rewatch of the movie, Hook. 

Emma:  Hook hook. Where’s the hook? 

Elsie:  Amazing.


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