Trend alert: Pattern Mixing


Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design mixed patterns

Elle favors this warm-weather combo of polka dots and lace.

By Abby and Elle
The change of seasons always offers an opportunity to shake things up, and if you’re like us, you prefer to shake things up in small, low-risk ways, such as trying a new cocktail or swearing off Facebook for a week, because what’s the worst that can happen?  Exactly.  Continue reading

How to turn a closet into a butler pantry, with a (real) penny backsplash


By Elle

I still can’t get over the transformation of this room — from a country-style family room to a dining room that I like to think has a European vibe.  The photo below is from when the prior owners still lived in the house, and the one below that is how the room looks currently, though taken from an opposite angle. The thing to remember, however, is that we’re not 100 percent done with the renovation just yet! Continue reading

My new yellow vintage raincoat


Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design raincoat and purseBy Elle

During a recent trip to the Riveria Maya, Mexico, I suggested to my beloved that we should try to skip a meal or two during our stay because, if you’ve ever been to an all-inclusive resort, you know that you can tumble out looking much rounder than when you arrived. I thought it was a good idea since we’d been already eating light the day or two before (we were up well before the crack of dawn the day of travel and essentially unfed on the flight to Mexico). He agreed, and we decided we would skip either breakfast or lunch every day that week.

By the time we arrived at the resort, we were near starving and eager for the lunch buffet to open. We thoroughly enjoyed a fabulous spread, and because my beloved had never been to an all-inclusive before, he immediately started ordering one mixed drink after another — first a mojito, then a pina colada, then a seabreeze, then a mai tai — telling me he wanted to try them all. I said, “Yeah, but in one afternoon?” Continue reading

How to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring


Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion winter/spring transitionBy Elle

Spring is officially here, according to the calendar, but the days, at least in Northeast Ohio, are still chilly — and today was downright frigid. Although we are eager to bust out our spring things and tuck our woolies deep into the closet, a move like that can be dangerously premature. OK, maybe not dangerous, but certainly premature.

Here’s how I put together one outfit to wear on a recent March day:

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Need a (safe & easy) hair color boost?


Trying out Watercolors by TressaBy Elle

I’ve often read that one should aspire to a lighter, warmer hair color as one ages, and since I suppose I know a wee bit about aging these days (after all, I’ve been helping to care for my mom), I think that advice is right on target.

Aw, who am I kidding. I can’t blame my mom for everything. Truth is, I’m getting older every dang day. And I’ve noticed that when I don’t color my hair, it looks dull and lifeless, and I look at least six months older than I am. At least.  But I really don’t dig using chemicals on my person, so when I do color my hair, I use semi-permanent products that wash out within a month. Downsides: 1) I forget to do it, and 2) I feel annoyed about committing 25 minutes to coloring my hair. I don’t have that kind of time these days. Srsly. And you probably don’t either.

So, after complaining about my predicament recently to my stylist, whom I totally adore and trust, she recommended Watercolors by Tressa.  Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tressa was kind enough to send us several of their products to try. Try I did, and here’s what I thought.

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