Stairway spindles get the Midas Touch

By Elle

After a tumultuous two years, during which Arkady and I cared for and lost three of our parents, and during which I lost my dear brother, we’re hopeful that the dark skies above us look, and sail, yonder. He and I both have good days and bad days, but we’re trying to return to our “normal” life, which, particularly during the pandemic, means tearing apart our house and putting it back together again. If nothing else, it’s a healthy, though oftentimes messy, distraction.

My first “remodeling” project was the staircase. I’d been pondering what to do with our white staircase spindles for a few years, and I’d even sanded them a couple of years ago in preparation for painting. I knew I wanted to paint them with a metallic paint — I’d been thinking pewter — but during a recent trip to Lowe’s, I loaded up on paint samples and settled on gold, which surprised me because I’m generally not a gold person. (Side note: We’re planning to build an addition to our house in the spring, and I’ve already chosen the interior color scheme: teal and gold. What the hell? Must be an age thing.) Continue reading

How hard is it to choose a stain color?

Not the greatest quality photo but you can see how the walkway looks at night when it’s lighted.

By Elle

Two years ago, we had a beautiful curved wooden ramp built at the front of our house (built as a wheelchair ramp for my mom — click on the link to see the “before” photos), which we planned to stain the following year after letting the wood season. Well, you know how one year turns into two, and two easily had the potential of turning into three if it weren’t for my OCD running interference. Once an idea gets planted inside my noggin, good luck digging it out. Part of the delay was legit: lack of time and opportunity. The other part, not so much. We just couldn’t wrap our heads around colors. Continue reading

Kids’ bedroom redo: sleeping for 6!

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion kids' bedroom redoBy Elle

I know, it’s been waaaay too long between posts, mainly because of elderly parent care (which has dramatically impacted our home renovation progress) but also because I can’t find it in my heart right now to write about fashion when the events of the world, particularly the state of our environment, are weighing so heavily on me. I’ve obviously sidelined the fashion posts, for now anyway, but I will post home renovation news as we have it. Continue reading

Secret to a flat belly

By Elle

Talking about diet isn’t entirely related to fashion, but it falls into the periphery, and since I stumbled upon an immensely helpful approach to losing weight (or maintaining a healthy weight), I thought I should share it with you.

As a 40-year vegetarian (who’s now mostly vegan), I’ve not struggled terribly with weight, but once I hit my 50s, I noticed I was sprouting a little meno pot, a pesky pot belly that mushrooms once you hit menopause and that no amount of planks will faze. Ugh. Continue reading

How to survive frigid temperature while making colorful ice balls!

By Elle

colored ice ballsDespite having lived my entire life in Northeast Ohio, I’ve never been a snow bunny, preferring to cozy up inside with a mug of steaming tea than go sledding or build a snowman on wintry days.  Now that I’ve reached mid-life though, I’m more tolerant of cold temps. During winters of late, I can’t ride in the car with a coat on, I keep the thermostat in the bedroom set at a brisk 62, and I often dream of sleeping on a slab of ice. Continue reading

Fireplace reno project nears a close

By Elle

Oh, friends, it’s been a long time, I know. We’re awfully preoccupied with taking care of elderly family members right now, so thank you for your patience as we try to carve out time for blogging…and for finishing some of our long-abandoned home reno projects such as our fireplace. Continue reading