Still Loving…

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… my SensatioNail DIY Gel Nail system. In case you’re wondering.

Hope your week is going great!

xo,
Elle

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Style Me Chic Monday: Pinspiration

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Happy Monday! Last week I was inspired by the pin you see above. The leopard, the bright pop of the blue blazer, the solid tights offsetting everything else; I loved it all. And I had similar components in my closet to make it all work (for me, what I had, and my casual Friday at work). Are you guys utilizing Pinterest to inspire your outfits too?

xo,
Elle

Smoothie Time!

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I’ve worked out a new smoothie method, which is infinitely better than the hand blender method I had been using.

First I dump some almond milk and kale in my new Oster (with a glass–not plastic, yay!– beaker) and whir it around until it all the kale is completely ground into the milk.

Dump in frozen fruit (bananas and pineapples here), ground flaxseed, blend, and sip!

So much less work than my past smoothies!

xo,
Elle

High Five For Friday!

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It’s Friday, and you know what that means… High Five For Friday! My five favorite things this week, in no particular order:

1. These guys getting along for once. Granted, this groomfest occurred approximately 27 seconds prior to an all out brawl, but still…

2. An impromptu pre-work trip to Sweden (aka IKEA). Delicious lunch plus low priced housewares equals a happy Elle.

3. The fact that I had to put these ridiculous notes up in my breakroom at work is not the fave here. Rather, the fave is the fact that by the time I had gotten home and thought, “Oh crap, I forgot to take a pic of the ridiculous notes I had to put up at work,” my friend A had already taken said pics and posted them on Instagram. Scary how so much time together makes us think alike.

4. Ray Ban, for not only making fabulous products, but also for this ad which is part of their “Never Hide” campaign. Take that, Chick Fil A!

5. My new cheap jewels. Ring from H&M, bracelet from Forever 21; combined price of less than $15. Love.

Hope your week was great!

xo,
Elle

Room Dividing Screen Revamp

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I had this room dividing screen (which does not, in fact, divide a room, but rather resides in the corner of one) which was kind of old and out of style. It needed a serious revamp.

Enter a few yards of fabric from IKEA (love IKEA, and love their fabric) and a roll of zebra print duct tape.

It was very simple and not too time consuming. I just popped out the fabric covered panels, laid the new fabric on top, pulled it tight, and used a staple gun to secure it all around the back. I used the duct tape to cover the wood on the side of each panel.

It came out exactly how I wanted and matches my black and white decor perfectly. Crafting win!

xo,
Elle

Elle’s Incredible Orzo Salad

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People rave about this orzo. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and the best dish to bring to a potluck, holiday meal, or barbecue. (I’ve brought it to all three, and served it at home as a simple side with a piece of grilled fish or tempeh.)

Here is the recipe, which doubles well if necessary.

1 pound regular or whole wheat orzo, cooked according to package directions, run under cold water, and cooled a bit
8 ounces of feta, crumbled*
An 8ounce bag of arugula (If baby variety, leave as is. If leaves are large, tear ’em up.)
1 bag dried cranberries, orange or regular (5 or 6 oz)
About 1/2-3/4 cup any of these: pine nuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds
Juice of four lemons
Extra virgin olive oil (maybe 1/4 cup? More if it seems dry.)
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste (I like Trader Joe’s Flower Pepper for this.)

Dump everything in a bowl. Mix. Serve, or chill to serve later. If you refrigerate for a while, I recommend adding more olive oil and lemon juice before serving.

*This can easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese or substituting either finely grated vegan mozz, or firm tofu that has been pressed and soaked in olive juice.

Enjoy!

xo,
Elle

An Open Letter to Ebay

Dear Ebay,

I was supposed to become a millionaire this weekend.

Remember me? I am the one with the two pairs of “new with tags” jeans. I left them with you yesterday.

It was supposed to be a cathartic experience. The 7s have been silently mocking me from my closet when I realized all super extra clearance Dojo cuts are not created equal. The Lucky Brands kept making snide remarks about my posterior when I put them on. You may call it “listing” but I would like to think it was an emotional release. I was standing up for my feminist spirit. These jeans will not own me! I will no longer be a slave to sizes and price tags and flat butts!

As of today, only one person has viewed each pair of pants. That one person was me.

Now, my jeans are mocking me for more reasons than their awful fit. You did this to me, ebay! You–with your easy to use iPad app and empty promises of grandeur.

I loathe you, ebay!

Sincerely,
M

PS– this has nothing to do with my buyers account. I am still all over the iPhone case and the necklace. Love ya!

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Hawaiian … Pastels???

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Hello my lovelies!

I found out one day last week that we were having a Hawaiian themed day at work for casual Friday. There are not many trends or looks that I rule out, but I draw the line at Hawaiian shirts or coconut bras. No and no. Instead of the company suggested Don Ho-like button downs (who comes up with these things?), I opted for a more subtle sheer pastel floral top that had been hanging out in my closet with tags on it for months. I accessories with some simple flat sandals and green and blue J. Crew necklaces. And sunglasses on my head, since it was Hawaiian day, obvi.

My awesome coworker happened upon that gorgeous little vintage broach and gave it to me that day. (An “L” for Elle, get it?) It went perfectly on my necklaces! I think I have a new favorite piece that I’m going to wear a million different ways.

What would your Hawaiian interpretation have been?

xo,
Elle

Oh shoe-t!: A Photo Journey of My Troubles

I would like to think that teachers are known for their cutting edge fashion sense and trend setting style. But, they’re not. You think of teacher clothes, and you think of blase front pleat pants, oversized vests, and tacky decorative pins. Oh, and the shoes. Don’t forget about the comfortable shoes! Its not really my speed. I would like to think I break the teacher dress mold.

….except for the shoes. Oops! My feet hurt at the end of the day. They kill. The comfy shoe clad teachers of the world are on to something. This is where fashiony M and practical M collide. I want to be fun and fresh. And funky. But I want to be able to walk without crying. The issues!

So I have decided to photo document my shoe journey:

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These are a personal favorite summer shoe of mind (Lucky Brand Hacienda Wedge)They’re tall and pretty and comfy…. for dinner. Not for any activity that requires standing, walking, or doing things on your feet. I would like to think I can wear shoes like this with my super cute outfits to work….. but I can’t. Because it would hurt. And I may end up crushing a Kindergartener with them. Fail. Next!!

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In a perfect world, I would wear these amazing shoes every day of my life. They would be stylish and chic and the world would not judge me. Sigh. Such a cruel world we live in.

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But, the world is not so kind and my feet are not naturally encased in gel, so I resort to these Lucky Brand moccasins (weird that both example shoes are Lucky–the only two items I own of the brand, swearsies). They love my feet and my feet love them. They magically coordinate with all my casual cool work outfits and they are suuuper comfortable. So comfortable it almost makes me want to cry. But, notice the grime? They have seen better days. Big sniffle. And they aren’t sold anymore. I have practically (and by practically, I might mean actually) worn holes in to the bottom. We are past the point of casual cool and into the grunge look. I do not do grunge.

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Which brings me to these puppies. Fine, they are probably not making a spread in Vogue any time soon, but they will do. They go along with my casual chic work emsembles and they (fingers crossed, breath held) will be just as comfy as my most beloved Lucky Brand moccasins. They’re pretty classic if I say so myself. Glamorous shoes they’re not but they’re not teacher chic either. Small win in my book. And, best of all, I got them at Marshalls for way less than this price: Minnetonka Kilty Suede Moccasin. After all, teacher budget.

M

High Five For Friday!

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My favorite things and events of the week, in no particular order:

1. My most recent ridiculous arm parties, one of which I wore to a really fun barbecue with a bunch of old friends.

2. A great day of shopping at my all time favorite Nordstrom Rack with great people and this delicious salad for lunch. There were grains and olives and cippolini onions and all sorts of other good things in there. I will be recreating this at home.

3. Not dying in a hailstorm/flood (seriously, I saw cars on the other side of the highway floating! Like rafts! Or inner tubes!) on my way to M’s place for a crafting night! We watched half a season of Girls, ate ice cream, and made these adorbs bracelets. We will def be having a repeat.

4. My first Korean dining experience! See my stone pot? So delicious and what a crazy night. Strangers at the next table became our friends and even went to a bakery down the block to get a birthday cake for me and my friend C. Weird and a little creepy? Yes. Delicious and a great story? Also yes.

5. My new VIB exclusive LancĂ´me Hypnose Star Show Stopping Mascara. First of all, I’m a sucker for anything exclusive, so the fact that this mascara was available to Sephora VIB’s a month before it is available to the public was the first thing that sucked me in. The next was the promise of a “diamond finish for a shimmery effect.” To be honest, it doesn’t look all too shimmery to me, but it is an incredible mascara. Two thumbs up.

Hope you all had a great week!

xo,
Elle