melange a trois

Wait, why again?


Mélange à trois is a series where we discuss life’s burning questions about life, love, and style. Have a question you just can’t find the answer to? Email me at and we’ll talk about it!


I have this group of girlfriends that I see pretty often. I’ve known them for forever, and they are fun to hang out with – but lately I feel like we don’t have much in common, and even though I have fun, I leave feeling weird. I find myself giving more than I’m getting – initiating things with them, asking them how they are and not talking about myself at all… And I’m starting to wonder why I put in the effort. But I’ve known these girls for forever, and I would feel bad about turning down invites (even though they don’t come to my get togethers)… What can I do to not rock the boat, but to stop feeling bleh about the whole thing?


Okay. Let’s break this down:

  • These friends don’t have anything in common with you
  • They aren’t giving anything in your friendship
  • You feel shitty after hanging out with them
  • They don’t come to your stuff, but you go to theirs

The only things keeping you from changing it up are:

  • You’ve known them for forever
  • You feel bad turning them down

Let’s start with the two reasons that would prevent you from changing the current state of things.

It doesn’t matter that you have known them for a long time if you aren’t getting anything out of these friendships. It’s not like you’re banning them from your life, and if you end up having things in common later and life and they bring value as friends, then great, you can always pick things back up. But right now, your life is being weighed down by unnecessary shit, and this is something you need to cut out. We’ll get to why later.

But you also feel bad turning them down. Here’s the thing – what would you rather feel: irrational guilt for turning down an invite from them when they turn down yours, or that frustrated feeling you get when you realize you got off your couch and did your hair, all for a couple of hours that you wish you could get back to do something you care about?

Then there’s the bigger picture. It’s not just about your Friday night, or who has accepted the most invitations – it’s about your whole life. Which sounds dramatic, but hear me out.

When you look at your social calendar, how much of it are you genuinely looking forward to? 50%? 80%? I think it should be 100%. Sure, some things you can’t get out of, and some things are investments or necessary evils (for example, maybe your in-laws aren’t at the top of your fun list, but you know it’s important and it’s worth it). But when it comes to your people who you choose to spend your SPARE time with, why the hell is that something you’re dreading? Makes no sense!

This is something I am JUST figuring out, thanks to my wise sister. We have been talking about how important our time is and how it makes us feel. Think about it – you’re looking at your week like, “Okay Monday I have happy hour with this girl from work who I don’t even like that much and it’s going to be awkward, but she asked me so I had to go… then Wednesday I have my friend’s party where no one I know will be there, but I should go because I didn’t go to her last leggings/oils/crystals/makeup party…then Thursday I have dinner with the boyfriend’s family friends who I’ve never met… then Friday and Saturday I said I would leave for the weekend with friends that I have realized lately I don’t click with at all….” SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT WEEK. I’m already exhausted.

But we’ve all been there, right? (If you haven’t, props to you and please comment with tips!) With that kind of pattern, I would start to feel kinda depressed about my life – where is all the fun stuff I want to do??

So we need to start saying no. With no guilt. Even if someone did nothing wrong, but you’re just not into it, say no. Even if you LOVE this person but you don’t love their bowling club, say no. And once your schedule is 90% shit you love, showing up for someone you love to do something you’re not that thrilled about will be a million times easier.

It’s about your life as a whole, and viewing your time as a precious (and scarce) resource. If I say no to this party these girls invited me to, I will have more energy to say yes to other invites that are way more important to me. And I will have more energy to do other things that make me happy, like exercise or cook for myself or read that book. Suddenly, you have time to do the things you WANT to do.

And even if you’re SO BORED, and the only thing to do this Friday night is hang out with those girls, still say no – because you know you won’t have a good time. And with that freed up time and space, you make room for new friends, new hobbies, new habits – and you will only let those in that you think sound fun. It might take some time, but then you’re looking at a bad-ass calendar.

Think of it as a wardrobe capsule for your life. Less=more, quality > quantity.

Sounds pretty dope, no? So start embracing “no”. We’ll do it together.






Mélange à trois: How do I keep my house clean?


I have a really inconsistent work schedule, and recently my house has become a complete disaster. I have looked at chore checklists on Pinterest and they all look so intense. I can’t figure out how to fit in some cleaning time with down time, and keep it consistent when my life isn’t consistent! Any ideas for keeping my place livable with a crazy schedule?


Um, yeah. As I talked about last week, getting shit done is on my radar lately – it’s so hard to find a consistent schedule to fit everything in. But I work full time, 9-5 – I can’t imagine trying to get a routine down when you don’t know when you are going to be working next week.

So I went to our old friend, Emily! She used to be an editor here at MM, and she is still my BFF so I get to make her help us whenever I want. She also works part time and has a nontraditional schedule – but luckily, she has found something that has worked great for her for a few months now.

She made a chore list, like the intense ones you see on Pinterest, but she made one for herself with her life in mind and made it easy and flexible. Check her’s out (Cooper is her dog :)):

Emily’s Weekly Chores

  • Grocery shopping
  • Clean out fridge
  • Water plants


  • Laundry
  • Clean bathroom


  • Clean glass
  • Dust


  • Vacuum
  • Clean floors
  • Brush Cooper
  • Brush Cooper’s teeth


  • kitchen must be completely clean before going to bed
  • bathroom counter wiped down
  • clothes put away
  • 5 minute clean up to put misc stuff away


Some days it’s more than one chore, but those are either my day off or super short tasks that only take a few minutes. Almost everyday is about 1/2 an hour of time (except for Mondays and Thursdays which are my off days). Also I don’t do anything on the weekends other than bigger projects, which is nice to feel like I have weekends off.

I always thought making a schedule for cleaning sounded so stupid, but when I made a simple one of my own I loved it. The nice thing about it is that I didn’t realize how long it had been since I had cleaned something. So for example I would be like “Gawd our floors are so grossss, I just did these!!” And my husband would be like “Yeah… I think we did them like a month ago…” So it’s nice to know how often I do things, and not be guessing.

Also, in a way it calms down the perfectionist in me, because if I’m cleaning the bathroom one day but I’m like eww, the floors are gross, I’ll just tell myself they’re getting done tomorrow and I can wait that long. And sometimes it’ll be the day to do something and I won’t need to clean it… So either I’ll give myself the day off or try to find something else small to do…but usually I take the day off.



I was inspired, so I made one too! I have some other aspects of my schedule in there too – everything is (theoretically) done after work.

Steph’s Weekly Chores

  • Gym
  • Dust
  • Dishes, wipe down counters in kitchen
  • Boil eggs for breakfast for the week
  • Water plants
  • Blog
  • Clean out fridge
  • Grocery shopping
  • Gym
  • Dishes, wipe down counters in kitchen
  • Clean bathroom
  • Gym
  • Windows or floors (or can do on Saturday/Sunday)

So. Emily has been doing this successfully for a couple of months now, so I have hope – but I am just starting out. I think it will help when Anthony is done working on his PhD recital (!!) so he can get on board with me and help keep us on track.

The thing that I took away from all this is to be realistic, tailor it to your real life, and to change it when necessary. Feel it out, shift things around… the point is to find something that is manageable and doesn’t feel like torture. It’s all about just doing less more often so you’re not taking an entire Saturday to clean your whole disgusting place.




I hope that helps! What do you all think? Do you have a routine or do you just clean when needed?




Mélange à trois: What do I do with this huge blank wall?


We have this huge blank wall in our house that we need to decorate. But a big piece of art is super expensive, and I don’t have the time or energy for a big DIY project. What’s an easy decor fix for a big blank space?


We had the same issue – one blank wall in our bedroom was keeping it looking bare and not styled, and it was driving me crazy – but we already had a gallery wall on the opposite side of the room, so we needed an all-in-one piece that made a statement, but that we loved.

Here are a few ideas, including what we decided on for our place:

1. Shower curtain art.

I thought this was a really cool idea. It’s not the cheapest, and it does involve some DIYing – but you’ll end up with a really cool conversation piece that looks expensive, big, and unique.

I got the idea from a friend, but a step-by-step guide can be found here. Here’s an example of what it looks like when it’s finished:



Basically you make a frame and staple gun the shit out of it and voila! You have a cheaper version of a nice big statement art piece.

Here are some awesome shower curtains that I think would be great for an art piece:











2. Tapestry

I also looked at a ton of tapestries on Etsy that were beautiful – and no DIY skills needed! It gives that same impact without the work.








And finally, the cheapest option and the one we chose…


3. Mirrors

It was so hard to agree on any of the big art pieces, and we knew that if it was going to be that big, we needed to both love it to death. So after so long of not being able to decide, I just started scouring my Pinterest boards and showing Anthony different options. Luckily, we both agreed on the idea in this pin:



To be honest, I wasn’t particularly stoked – I just wanted it done. But once we got to K-Mart and realized these full-length mirrors were less than $10 each, I was sold. We got three, used velcro hanging strips which was so easy, and we were done.

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Once they were up, we were obsessed. It makes the room feel bigger – but more importantly, it makes it feel so luxurious for some reason! Like a hotel – in a good way.

FullSizeRender (43) FullSizeRender (41) I’m so glad they had white ones – and they even had a little molding goin on! I love how it looks, and it makes the room complete. That big wall seemed like such a chore, but it was one of the easiest projects we’ve ever done.

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Bonus: it reflects light (like the pretty glow from our marquee letters!) and you can watch tv in the reflection.

It looks so much better in person. Want to come over?


What favorite projects have you done in your place?


{Have a question you want to chew on with us? Email!}


Mélange à trois: How do I look cute on the cheap for Halloween?


I haven’t had time to think about putting together something clever and cute for my Halloween costume this year. It’s coming up so fast, and I am broke. What do you suggest for cheap, cute Halloween costumes?



I am in the same boat, my friend. Except I have had plenty of time to think about what I should be for Halloween – I think I’ve been combing through Pinterest since the beginning of September! (check out my Halloween board) However, every year I refuse to spend a lot of money, and try to come up with something I can basically put together using the clothes already in my closet.

Here are the top 3 costume ideas that I have found that are cute, easy to put together, and cheap!


Rosie the Riveter

I think this is what I might do this year…


You can choose two ways to do Rosie:

  1. Comfy and casual
  2. Pin-up and sexy

This is why I like this costume – I can have one version for work or mellow events, and another for going out.

Here are some examples of the casual version from Pinterest:





…and a more pin-up, glam option:



Instead of jeans and boots, add some shorts and heels. If you want to get real crazy (and some of us do), unbutton the shirt a little bit for a pop of a red bra or lacy tank top. I love the high-waisted shorts and tied shirt look, with cat-eye eye-liner and a bright red lip.

Here is how I might throw it together using the clothes in my closet…


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Still need the red bandanna!



I saw someone at my work do this a few years ago and it was ADORABLE. I think this will definitely be on my list for next year.



All you need is a brown outfit, sticks for antlers, and some white and black face paint to pull this off (ears and tail are optional in my book). It’s mostly about the makeup and a cute, cozy brown outfit.





The girl above makes those sticks look awesome, but I would probably want to spray paint the sticks for my antlers to make them look less like…well, sticks. Maybe gold? Or even just a chocolate brown would make them look more put together.

Here are some outfit ideas that I think would be adorable:







Some tights, some cozy socks, maybe a faux-fur vest? Boom.


Tooth Fairy

I stumbled across this pin and thought – I could make that pretty cute, pretty easily…



I mean, I don’t know if I would want to look like a huge walking cloud (no offense LC, I love ya), but I think it’s a super cute idea.


Here is what you would need:

1.Cute dress or skirt/top combo







(I just realized this is the perfect opportunity to finally wear that bridesmaids dress in your closet!)


2. Little bag for some teeth…

pouch brown


Have a little jewelry or makeup bag that you never use? You can even put the word “Teeth” on it in sparkles or something if you want to make things really clear.


3. Crown and/or wand and/or wings

I say get at least one out of the three to make everything look pulled together.

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(Who is looking for an excuse to wear a flower crown??? I am!!!)





I say top it off with some bright makeup (maybe some white eye liner action with a pop of color and/or pink lips) and a top knot – I love LC’s above.


Okay, I hope I gave you some ideas that will help you pull together a cute, somewhat original, and cheap costume last-minute!


Check out my struggle last year to come up with a costume… I ended up being a scarecrow since Anthony just had heart surgery – so the Tin Man seemed perfect for him:


(For the record, he has silver paint on his face – he’s not on the brink of death or anything, like some thought when we posted this!)


If you have already decided, what are you going to be for Halloween? Tell us in the comments!


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