Saturday, May 4, 2013

Derby Days

I love an excuse to get dolled up, sit outside on a beautiful day, sip fancy cocktails and maybe even watch the horse races. In honor of the Kentucky Derby this weekend I've put together a couple ensembles I'd sport for the events. A girl can dream, right?

Feeling Fun

Feeling fancy


Friday, May 3, 2013

Nailed it

Getting my nails done is a little indulgence I partake in weekly. I have a standing appointment at my favorite salon with my favorite girl. I have been getting regular manicures for quite some time so I have can confidently dole out a few of my best tips **no pun intended there

1. Invest in your own set of tools - specifically a nail file, nail buffer and cuticle nippers (if you plan to have your cuticles trimmed.) There's a lot of nail fungus that walks in the doors of nails salons and I want to be sure I don't walk out with it.

2. Base Coat - pick a good one and bring it with you. My favorite is Duri Rejuvacote (here). This stuff is amazing. Buy it. It will improve the health of your nails if they are weak and if used as a top coat as well will help your polish last longer and look extra shiny.

3. Top Coat - invest in a good one here too and bring it with you. if your nails are in pretty good shape I recommend Seche Vite (here). It glazes your nails to a pretty shine and, as the name implies, dries super fast.

** Here are a few color recommendations as well:
    Sheer pink - OPI Otherwise Engaged (see picture)
    Red - Essie Longstem Roses
    Gray - Essie Chinchilly
    Coral - Essie California Coral

xo Ellen

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jean Therapy

As a stay at home mom jeans are an everyday necessity.  Shopping for and picking out the right jeans, however, can be a daunting task. Every week there are new styles, new cuts, new washes etc. The trends are endless. What makes jeans fancy is sticking to cuts that look great on you and pairing them with the right shoes.

I’ve found the size of the leg opening to be pretty important when styling jeans. Here are some of my favorite styles and how I like to wear each of them.

 Bootcut – This style is great for balancing out a “curvy” frame and works best with a shoe with some height on it, like pumps or wedges, to add length to the leg. To differentiate a bootcut from a flare, the leg opening at the ankle should be no wider than 18 inches.

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Straight leg – A straight leg jean is one of the most versatile cuts. I prefer a narrow or skinny straight leg. A straight leg, by my definition, has a leg opening between 12 and 15 inches. This cut can be worn full length or cuffed and can be worn with with heels, flats or booties. To be cuffed, aim for a leg opening no wider than 13 inches. And don’t even think about trying to stuff a straight leg into a boot. Any pair with a leg opening over 12 inches doesn’t fit.

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Skinny – There seems to be a lot of overlap among slim straight and skinny jeans. With that being said, for our purpose, a skinny jean is one with a leg opening of 10-12 inches. Skinny jeans are great both full length and cuffed and, like straight leg, work well with heels, flats and sometimes tucked into boots. If you’ve got a curvy build and plan to wear your skinny jeans with heels and flats, aim for a leg opening right around 12 inches.

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Ultra Skinny/Legging Jean – This is a tough cut for many of us to wear because it can really highlight curves. With that being said, it is the only style that always works tucked into boots and worn this way, it’s very flattering for everyone. Legging jeans have a leg opening of less than 10 inches.

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Boyfriend – These are some of the most comfortable jeans ever made! I recommend going for a slim cut if you want to keep them looking feminine. These jeans are perfect cuffed and worn with wedges, flats or booties.

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If I were only allowed one great pair of jeans, it would have to be a slim straight leg or skinny jean with a leg opening right around 12 inches.  They are just so versatile. What about you?

xo Ellen

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Those of you who know me know that I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. This orzo minted feta salad was a recipe I pinned a while back and finally got around to trying tonight. I made a few changes to adjust it to my liking. I left out the mint, doubled the basil and only used half the dressing to lighten the fat and calories.  This dish did not disappoint! It was over 80 degrees here today and this was the perfect summer salad to accompany roasted chicken.

What a Gem

coming soon...