Office Redo: Color Explosion!


Abby & Elle office redoBy Elle

When deciding how to redo the office, my only requirement was that it be bright,  colorful and cheery. No dark, studious space for me.

As you can see from the “before” photos, the room had been painted salmon, and dark curtains covered the windows. We ended up keeping the dark brown carpeting for now, but the plan is to eventually replace it with cork flooring. Continue reading

Fashion Report from Italy: Funky!


DSC03708By Abby and Elle

This is the last of our fashion reports from Italy — at least until the next time we go, which hopefully won’t be too long because Italy is by far one of our top travel destinations.

What is it about Italy anyway that’s so endearing? (What isn’t? we suppose is the real question.) On this trip, Elle was eager (hell-bent is actually a better way to put it) to see an opera. She found tickets to La Boheme by Puccini, her favorite composer, which was playing for one night only at St. Mark’s English Church in Florence, and the date didn’t interfere with any other plans — what a stroke of double luck!

When Elle and the Love of Her Life, Arkady, arrived at the church, they discovered that, like all operatic performances at St. Mark’s, the opera was a benefit for a children’s home in Amala, a region in South India. The performers are all professional opera singers who donate both their time and talent. What’s more, the setting was extraordinary: intimate (maybe 50 people, tops) and Elle and Arkady had front-row seats.

Awestruck by the first half of the performance, Elle whispered to Arkady that the only thing that would make the evening “more perfect” was a glass of Prosecco, which they then agreed to have with dinner after the performance. And then a surprise: At intermission, the emcee invited the group into the lobby for refreshments, which included, yes, Prosecco! So there you have it: Italy! What’s not to love!

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Fashion Report from Italy: Fur


By Abby and Elle

Fur is clearly a trend this winter. Most of the fashions we saw incorporated fur (or some furry equivalent) in some way, whether in scarves, vests or trim.

We especially loved the fur scarves. Add some Italian fashion flair to your wardrobe with a faux fur scarf for yourself, or pick up one as a holiday gift for that fashionable someone in your life. You can get one from a number of places, fairly inexpensively, too: Check out this Vera Wang faux fur cowl scarf (on sale as of this writing) from Kohl’s, or this infinity scarf from J. Crew Factory. ASOS also carries a variety of inexpensive faux fur scarves.

Enjoy the photos, and don’t miss the boots at the bottom of this post!

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Fashion Report from Italy: The Classics


DSC03544By Abby and Elle

While we love funky styles, the truth is we’re always drawn back to the classics with their clean lines, neutral colors, gentle draping and precise fit. Classic pieces never tire, and they just look so darn sophisticated. And we like to look sophisticated. Most of the time, anyway.

Check out the boots in the second photo that look like shoes with socks (in both short and tall versions), and the caramel-colored cape in the fifth photo that we found in Florence at (oh, this is hard to admit) H&M. Elle had to buy one. It was only 30 Euros! And it was awfully chilly that evening. Really. She didn’t have a choice. But she felt redeemed twice that night: first, when it kept her toasty warm, and second, when we returned to the hotel and she got SO many compliments on it — seriously, even the men in our travel group were gushing. Gushing! (And when does that happen?) We should have bought the whole damn lot…. Continue reading

Fashion Report from Italy: Roar!


By Abby and Elle

DSC03538Buongiorno! As promised, here’s our first fashion report from Italy — specifically from Florence and Montecatini Terme, an elegant resort town known for its thermal spas and waffles, the aroma of which you could smell for blocks. (We should have indulged in a waffle or two, but we were too busy shoving multiple flavors of gelato down our gullets for the sole pursuit, mind you, of determining which flavor is best. Espresso = still the winner.)

Anyway, styles featuring animal prints were as common as gelato shops and looked just as delectable, in a different way, of course.

We especially love the first photo, which pairs an animal-print cape with a snuggly sweater and glittery, chiffon skirt. And although the second photo of a felted wool jockey-style hat doesn’t exactly qualify as an animal print, we included it here because it features part of an animal and it’s so dang adorable!

Leave us a comment and tell us which is your favorite (animal print or gelato flavor, we don’t care which). Ciao till next time!

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