What’s the best beauty advice you received from your mom?

By Elle

Dear readers, I think this will be our last post for 2018. Between having the flu, which grabbed me by the shirt, threw me up against the wall and held me there for two weeks, and preparing for the winter holidays, I’m frankly exhausted.

So for the last post of the year, I was thinking it would be fun to share the best beauty advice you ever received from your mom (or other influential person in your life). Continue reading

Easy fall outfits and how to slow down time

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design fall fashionBy Elle

Fall is the perfect season for styling outfits. The cooler temperatures allow you to play with different textures and weights, and layering offers the chance to create a variety of no-hassle looks.

This year, fall has me thinking less about chunky sweaters and cozy leggings and more about aging. I feel obsessed lately with time and the way the naughty clock is ticking my life away. Now it’s clear to me what it means to have a mid-life crisis — and to create a bucket list, which I haven’t done because I don’t have the time.

I’m trying to engage boredom and embrace quiet moments. I’m trying to quiet my mind. I’m trying to shake up the routine and predictable moments, like occasionally driving a different route to and from work — woo hoo, I know. Instead of checking my phone when I have a minute of down time, I pay attention to my surroundings in an attempt to notice something new. Novelty, as it turns out, allows our brains to perceive time as moving more slowly.  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:

Continue reading

How to get that put-together look

img_2760By Elle

For as far back as I can recall, I’ve loved doing puzzles, from jigsaw puzzles to cryptograms. Puzzles help me relax and pass the time, especially on long plane rides and car trips. So when my beloved and I flew to Italy a few years ago, I made sure a Sudoku book was tucked inside my carry-on bag. Thankfully, my man doesn’t require a lot of attention and didn’t mind that my face was buried inside my Sudoku book as we flew from Detroit to Amsterdam. That is until we approached the Alps.

This is how the conversation went:

“Honey, look, it’s the Alps.”


“No, seriously, it’s the Alps. Look!” (Tapping me on the knee.)


“Don’t you want to see the Alps?”

“Uh huh. I’m really close to solving this problem.”

“Seriously? Your puzzle can wait. Look at the Alps.” (Pointing out the window.)

“Yes, they’re quite lovely.”

“You’re not even looking.” (Sounding sad.)

“They’re breathtaking.”

“You’re staring at your book.” (Sounding annoyed.)

“I’m working on a problem that requires crucial deductive reasoning skills.”

“Never mind. You missed the Alps.”

And, yes, he brings it up every now and again — he’s still incredulous — and I, still, harbor no regrets.

Continue reading

5 Tips for Treating Closet Disorder

By Elle

Abby and Elle Upstairs Fashion

Look, Ma, my clothes are not only hung up, but they’re also organized by style, color and sleeve length. (Bet you never thought you’d see that!)

Personally, I can’t function in chaos. Everything — well, most everything — in my life is neatly organized so that I can be as efficient as possible. It’s also a feng shui thing. From my desk and email inboxes to jewelry chest and purse, everything is categorized, filed, put in its rightful place. Same with my closet. (I know, I sound hateful, don’t I.)

If your closet is a disaster, try these 5 tips to help you get feng shui-ified:

  1. Organize by season. If possible, move your out-of-season clothing to another closet. That way, you can ignore your out-of-season items for entire months and you get more room in your closet. Bonus: When you see your clothes again, they’ll feel brand new! Or at least gently used.
  2. Next, organize by item. Slacks on one side, skirts on another, shirts in the middle. Or whatever order makes you feel happy. The point is to group like items together.
  3. Within each group, organize by style. Shirts are together, but turtlenecks and oxfords are subcategories, cohabitating nicely.
  4. Again, within each group, organize by length. Long skirts to short skirts; long-sleeved shirts to short-sleeved shirts.
  5. Finally, within each subgroup, organize by color. So all short black skirts together, short brown skirts together, black turtlenecks together, and so on.

Sounds a little obsessive, I know. (And like a lot of work.) But, trust me, once done it’s easy to maintain, and it will save you gobs of time trying to figure out what to wear every day.

That said, I haven’t yet found a solution to organizing all my scarves. Any ideas?