Style After the Post-Adolescent Idealistic Phase

Good news guys. I recently realized I'm no longer in the Post-Adolescent Idealistic Phase, PAIP for short (Clueless fanatics, what up). You know, that time when your style was largely trend driven? You didn't hesitate to try drop-crotch pants (guilty) or the brightest cardigan just to mimic dear Blair Eadie (guilty, again) just because it was the cool thing. I know I'd still be in this phase if I seriously considered overalls. The difference nowadays is that I invest time and put a lot of thought into what I will add to my closet. More often than not, I buy and get excited for essential pieces in different variations. For instance, a basic tee in every color not in the rainbow but found in the forest or someplace Earthy like that.

Since graduating from PAIP, it's been delightfully easy to get dressed and pack for trips. I just wear the same outfits in Paris as I would in New Orleans. And oh, I'm a perpetual outfit repeater. No muss, no fuss.  

Exhibit A: A basic white oxford with high-waist denim and pumps. 

Upperlyne Home: Office Makeover

In my previous career choices, I never hesitated to jump right in to streamline systems and to implement processes that make things work better. Whether it was education, IT, or operations there was a common sensical approach to solving problems. Working for yourself (or trying to!) is a different animal. One without a clear formula and with a different kind of stress. There are no set work hours so days bleed into one another. My biggest challenge has been trying to structure my days so I can be productive because every minute is valuable.

While the sunroom with its beautiful, historic French windows (pictured right) is easily one of the best features in my apartment, it's been sitting stale since last August after a failed attempt at making it an office. Instead of looking forward to working here, I use it as an excuse to go to coffee shops. Such a waste of money!

Somehow the stars aligned and the West Elm fairies sensed my desperation for a functional and inspiring workspace. In addition to the craziness of opening their first store in New Orleans, they decided to sprinkle some love my way by helping me tap into my home office's potential. 

When it comes to home decorating, I am two things: minimal and a scaredy cat. Take a look at the before picture. The large 40" x 60" canvas on the bottom right has been sitting blank for two years because I'm afraid to commit!

Fortunately, the best thing about West Elm is how easily their products integrate into anyone's home without sacrificing personal style. With their help, we added dimension to my space by layering objects in a way that doesn't clutter the room. They also taught me how a few great investment pieces like the desk and chair can go a long way. It's incredibly satisfying to see a room come to life simply by following through. Guess you have to live that concept in every possible way!

I couldn't be more in love with the results and thrilled that I get to work in this space every day. A million thank yous to the wonderful West Elm team for making my office dreams come true and helping make the process of building the dream so, so much more inspiring! 

West Elm New Orleans + Giveaway!

Unless you've been living under a rock in New Orleans, I'm sure you've heard news of the West Elm store opening on Magazine Street. Having a physical store here adds so much to our growing retail landscape and not to mention we can now get first dibs on the always promising sale section!  I personally couldn't be more excited to welcome them to The Big Easy and to partner with them to bring you the latest on their launch! It's going to be HUGE.

Up first -- we are giving one lucky Upperlyne reader (and a plus one) an exclusive invite to the grand opening party on Wednesday, July 23rd from 6-8:00 PM AND a $50 West Elm gift card! There will be yummy bites, music, good people, and a special guest appearance that I'm going to keep tight-lipped for now.  To enter, simply fill out the form below.  Additional entries for leaving a comment here, sharing your entry on Twitter, and/or re-gramming my Instagram post and tagging me @juleytl and #westelmnola. The winner will be announced here on Monday, July 21st. Hop to it!

A Date with the City of Lights

Not sure if any of you know, but I'm quite the anti-social. When traveling, I steer clear of group trips, often choosing to go with just Josh or one other person. Too many agendas and opinions make my head swirl. I'm also one of the odd ones who really enjoy my alone time, not because I like myself that much but because I get to explore on a different level. So, of course, I made sure to get some one-on-one time with Paris. 

A big thank youuuu to those of you who took your time out to share your favorites via comments, Instagram, and by email. Couldn't have navigated Paris without your help!

Exihibit A: Effortlessly cool Parisian

Exihibit A: Effortlessly cool Parisian



My day started roughly around 9AM, took a quick cab ride to the Jardin des Tuileries where I met a lovely Indian girl who was on a whirlwind 28-country European tour. I learned that she was in her thirties and has worked in IT for some time. She felt compelled to book a ticket to tour Europe and Paris was the second city of her trip. After some small talk and a quick trade of pictures, we wandered the magnificent grounds and caught sight of the Louvre. Just as lovely as you would imagine! Exploring it with a stranger I just met was the icing on the cake. Does that even happen anymore?! I'm so glad it did.

Anyway, after we parted ways, I grabbed a sandwich from the Paul truck. It was a simple baguette with cornichons and salumi but so good and perfect. Plopped my happy self near the fountains and people watched for what may have been two hours before I realized it was time to go! Parisians are by far the best kind of people to watch. All equally effortlessly stylish and in their own little worlds.



Had some time to kill so I roamed some shops on St. Honore & Rue Royale. Picked up a few basics from & Other Stories. 


The next big stop on my list was Poilane, the bakery of all bakeries in Paris, to see its beauty in the flesh. Picked up their famed sourdough loaf as a surprise for my oldest sister who brought me a gift from here during her trip nearly ten years ago!


A cab ride later I was in the Le Marais neighborhood with roughly 45 minutes to kill before my baking class so I was able to snap a few pictures of the Seine River and the super cute neighborhood. I'll have to be sure to spend more time here during my next visit!


Now onto the pièce de résistance! One of my favorite things about Paris is how the entire city celebrates bakeries so taking a baking class here has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I tossed this idea over to my trusted friend and travel consultant, Lila Fox, who quickly provided a list of great classes in the city. Since my visit was during peak tourism season, it was difficult to get into the coveted croissant class, but I quickly and happily settled on learning how to make baguettes with La Cuisine Paris! Every moment in Paris was magical, but the three hours I spent in this class just felt like home. The instructor was animated and hands-on. She taught us how to make baguettes with a home oven as well as Fougasse and bread rolls. Such a fun class that I'd recommend to anyone who loves bread or baking as much as I do! 

Pst..learned a few fun facts!
1. In Paris, an establishment cannot call themselves a bakery unless everything is made from scratch.
2. Croissants made with real butter are rolled straight, whereas crescent-shaped croissants denote margarine was used.
3. Parisian baguettes can only contain four ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, and water.


Quite possibly one of the best dates a girl could have. I hope Paris calls me back!