Kitchen reno screeches to a halt, so I went apron shopping

By Elle

As I mentioned in my last post, renovation around the old homestead has all but stopped; instead of tearing out drywall and installing cabinetry, we’re focused on caring for aging parents. Luckily my half-finished kitchen is fully functional, so I have zero complaints. I can still whip up awesome vegan dishes or enjoy Thai takeout at our new kitchen island.

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Aging demands color — and a home remedy for nocturia

By Elle

We’ve been terrible about keeping up with our blog, but it’s not for lack of interest or enthusiasm. Rather, we’ve been dealing with elderly parents, which naturally gets one thinking about how we age and if there is such a thing as aging gracefully. Continue reading

All for the love of plaid skirts and saddle shoes

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & DesignBy Elle

I’ve loved plaid ever since I was a kid, when I first saw the girls in my neighborhood who went to the parochial school walking in their pleated plaid skirts, white shirts and black cardigans. I also coveted their shiny black and white saddle shoes. I went to the public school, so I could wear anything I wanted. And I wanted a plaid skirt and saddle shoes.

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Steal the Look: Self Portrait Dresses

Ooh la la! Love these unique lacy dresses. Thank you, Mandi, from The Style Chimera for this post.

The Style Chimera

Self Portrait is a brand that has really taken off lately.  Their look is so unique, mixing ultra feminine lace with super modern designs.  Their dresses are wearable works of art…which means they don’t come cheap.

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Fabulous hats, and a trick, for tea

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hatsBy Elle

Hat shopping ranks close to the top as a delightful distraction in my book, especially when life feels too fast-paced, which is almost always. So a couple of weekends ago, two of my friends, Sultana and Amy, and I spent a recent morning at my favorite millinery, Studio St. Marie in Rocky River, to find spring hats for a tea party.

We had the best time trying on all the latest creations along with some vintage beauties (folks of yore had smaller heads, and, without fail, those hats fit my tiny skull just right). We each found a hat or headpiece to take home, and soon we’ll be making plans for a tea party. Continue reading

My official spring dress

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design | Uncle Frank grey embroidered cotton dressBy Elle

This grey cotton embroidered dress from Uncle Frank has become my official spring dress. I bought it several years ago from Green Roots Collection, wondering at the time if it was maybe a little too funky (this is Cleveland, after all), but that’s how I roll.

I gravitate toward this dress during early spring — probably because of the bright flowers — and at least once a season I wear it to our favorite pancake breakfast spot, at West Geauga High School in Chesterland. Turns out it’s also my official naturalization ceremony dress.  Continue reading