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

Sexy Fashion Trend: Bralette

By Abby

yoins-braletteSo our sex lives can get a little crazy from time to time, and by crazy I mean it disappears. So whether you are experiencing a natural decrease┬áin those helpful reproductive hormones or have kids that just suck the life out of you…sex can be challenging.

We keep our eyes open for things that might give our sex lives a boost. Lucky for us one of this year’s fashion trends happens to be very sexy and practical. The bralette is a bra, lingerie, and a crop top all in one.

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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

People are not property

Shopping_Cart-592b_web_largeBy Abby and Elle

There seems to be no shortage of charities designed to help people — mostly women — around the world achieve economic independence, and there are several whose goal is to help women escape or avoid sex slavery. No one could argue with that, especially people like us — aka moms of daughters.

Sudara is one of those companies, and they produce a beautiful line of clothing, called PUNJAMMIES, made by women in India, a country with one of the highest incidences of sex trafficking in the world.
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Meet my newest Fidjis

By ElleAbby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design

I first discovered Fidji shoes when I was in Germany a few years ago and ever since then, they consume 90 percent of my shoe budget, even though they’re definitely not vegan.

(Quick side note: Although I discovered them in Germany, Fidji shoes are actually made in Portugal. I’ve yet to visit Portugal, but look out when I do, Fidji Shoe Factory.) Continue reading

Are handbags on the way out?

Abby and Elle Upstairs Fashion

One of Elle’s fave handbags: a vintage 50s/60s box purse, grey with paisley interior and lucite handle

By Abby

Are handbags on the way out? Neither of us has bought a purse in a long, long time, and the handbags we do own have been sitting quietly in our closets, just waiting for the word to make a public appearance.

So here’s our confession: We both carry around the same bag every day, regardless of whether or not it matches what we’re wearing. (We try to change it up if we have somewhere extra-special to go, but even then….) Continue reading