How to install a hardwood floor: part 1 (aka prequel)


Me, buffing our new maple/cherry hardwood dining room floor. Working a buffer is akin to riding a bull. (I know, I make it look easy.)

By Elle

Replacing the carpeting in our dining room with a hardwood floor wasn’t something that was on our renovation short list. But one day, in a fit of insanity, we tore out all the carpeting. Not sure what we expected to find beneath, but it was neither beautiful hardwood nor a buried treasure. Continue reading

Perfect picnic pants

By Elle
Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design

I’ve been waiting all summer to have a picnic just so I could wear these Ralph Lauren cropped gingham pants. I love picnics, and it’s been our family tradition — at least three generation’s worth — to picnic every summer, usually at the Cleveland Metroparks South Chagrin Reservation.

When I was a girl, I loved walking the creek that ran alongside the picnic area. I’d secretly pretend I was an Indian being hunted by the white man (aka my brother and his two annoying friends). In bare feet, I’d jump from rock to rock as quietly as I could. I’d slip behind trees and wait until they passed. If I returned to my tribe (aka family members engrossed in a game of pinochle) without the white man spotting me, the day was a success and I’d celebrate with an extra helping of mom’s most excellent potato salad. Continue reading

Bath/shower reno — and an eleventh-hour upgrade

IMG_2069By Elle

Whoa, it’s been a busy few weeks, and this week I’m babysitting the three-year-old Human Wrecking Ball. She looks innocent enough, with her big blue cow eyes and red curls, but look out. I finally scolded her after she sat on my coffee table and knocked over my flower arrangement for the third time in so many days. She walked into the next room with her head down, and I was all too happy to have a few moments of peace.

After a few minutes, however, I knew I better find out what she was up to. She was quiet for too long. She appeared in the doorway after I called her, holding out her finger. “Oh, crap,” I thought. I called her over and asked, “What happened to your finger?” Continue reading