Sounds exotic, doesn’t it? Frolicking among the penguins. I always assumed that penguins made their home in the cold depths where no person wanted to venture, like Antarctica. Isn’t that where Happy Feet takes place? It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out not ALL penguins are from Antarctica. Shocking, isn’t it?
At the very bottom of Africa, there lives an appropriately named species of penguin called the African Penguin. They are more affectionately known as the Jackass Penguin. I first laid eyes on these exotic birds about twelve years ago when my son was not even a year old. His photo among the “jackasses” still brings a smile to my face as I remember what a novelty it would be to snap a photo of him right in the middle of them. Panic set in as they got a little too close for this Mama’s liking. He was oblivious to the scene when I scooped him up to safety.
Nestled in the quaintness of Simon’s Town, South Africa, you will find a colony of jackasses in the form of penguins. The shores of Boulders Beach are dotted with the black and white creatures. At … >> find out more...
Today, a great quote about books from one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, for the Petit Elefant quote on dreams
I’m not totally sure what rock I’ve been hiding under, but I’ve only recently discovered Anne Lamott. Like, in the last year and a half. And since I found her, I’ve been obsessively reading everything I can get my hands on. I just finished reading Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year, and am halfway through Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Lamott’s writing is so important to me, it resonates so thoroughly in my brain, that I try to ration her books like I would, say, chocolate. Only it doesn’t work. I end up plowing through, staying up way past my bedtime to see what other revelations she has to offer me. We’re lucky if once in a lifetime we find an author who speaks to us completely, and even if I’m late to the game, I’m happy to be here now.
On a side note, totally related, if you’re looking for some good books to read, I just posted my most recent book review, 5 of the best books … >> find out more...
It’s online book club time! Do you remember this? I thought I’d write a couple of book reviews on Petit Elefant once a month, but it turns out it’s going to be more of a quarterly thing. Or a random, whenever-I’m-bursting-with-book-love thing. Either way, I’m writing regularly about books I love, and you’re invited to the party! It’ll be our very own little online book club. I won’t make you pretend to read books you hate, or come over to my house for appetizers and PTA gossip. Instead, we can congregate here on Petit Elefant to gab about what we’re reading, what we’re loving, and what’s totally overrated.
Actually, I’m lying. We won’t be talking about books we don’t love. There’s not enough time for that, so we’re going to stick to the good stuff, nay, the GREAT stuff.
I’m writing a whole separate post about why you need an eReader in your life, and how it will change the way you consume books, but for now let me just say, having an eReader has changed my reading life. I read all day long because I listen to audio books while I go about my life, and it’s … >> find out more...
A new nail collection from OPI is here! This time it’s Hello Kitty and, you guys, the colors. Right now I’m obsessing over the bright yellow, bright blue and hot pinks (and the black isn’t too shabby either).
Let’s take a peek, shall we?
Left to right, here is the 2016 Hello Kitty nail collection, by color name (the very best part of any OPI collection are the names):
- black: Never Have Too Mani Friends
- white sparkly: Kitty White
- red: 5 Apples Tall
- coral deep pink: Spoken From The Heart
- dark pink sparkly: Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel
- light pink: Small + Cute = ♥
- palest pink: Let’s Be Friends
- yellow: My Twin Mimmy
- blue: My Pal Joey
- purple: Super Cute in Pink
- light purple pink: Look At My Bow!
- light pink sparkly: Charmmy & Sugar
If you’re a Hello Kitty fan, you’re probably freaking out.
If you’re a color fan, you’re probably freaking out.
If you’re a nail polish fan, your mind is officially blown.
I haven’t been this excited about a collection in awhile; the colors are just so great! Naturally, being Hello Kitty, there’s almost every shade of pink available (I’m very … >> find out more...
Make your own DIY Valentines with this super easy (very crafty!) homemade stamp.
Secret craft supply needed? A potato!
Potato stamping might be one of my all time favorite homemade crafts because it’s so cool that you can take a potato out of your pantry, carve it up a little, and within minutes you have your very own stamp!
Right? So very cool. Kind of like these pretty DIY rose stamps I made with lettuce a couple of years ago.
Leftover pantry food for the win.
… >> find out more...
DIY Valentine Stamp How to
Author: Allison Czarnecki - Petit Elefant
Recipe type: Paint Craft
- paring knife
- tole paint
- card stock or plain note cards to print on
- scissors to cut card stock
- Cut card stock into note cards and fold to use in a minute.
- Slice the potato in half.
- Use the pencil to trace a shape into the potato. I made a heart but you can make whatever you'd like!
- Using a knife, cut away the potato around the shape you
A good body scrub is the best thing next to a nice long beach vacation. In a pinch. I only discovered body scrubs a few years ago and now I’m obsessed and can’t stop coming up with new recipes! My most recent favorite is this lavender body scrub, perfect for exfoliating and moisturizing dry skin, while smelling delicious and relaxing. I can’t wait for you to make some for yourself and 10 of your closest friends (it’s too good not to share!).
… >> find out more...
Lavender Body Scrub
Author: Allison Czarnecki - Petit Elefant
Recipe type: Bath + Body
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- ½ cup dried lavender
- ½ cup olive or coconut oil
- 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- Mix together Epsom salt and oil.
- Using a mortar + pestle, gently crush lavender to release flavor oils.
- If you don't have a mortar + pestle, use a Ziploc bag and rolling pin. Put lavender in Ziploc bag and seal. Use rolling pin
This post is brought to you in partnership with the new app, Sudo which is a great tool to help you protect yourself and your online world. As always, thank you for your support and kindness towards the sponsors that keep Petit Elefant running.
I’m a traveling girl. I love nothing more than a nice long stretch of road and a good playlist, a plane ticket and an unknown destination, an expanse of time and nothing to fill it with but the exploration of a new city, country, or state. I travel enough to have an entire section of Petit Elefant devoted to the subject, and I actively work on checking off my travel life list
(see also: surfing in Hawaii and Costa Rica and going to a soccer game in Barcelona
Travel is my lifeblood.
Over the last few years I’ve started traveling differently, using a site called Airbnb
. Have you ever heard of it? Airbnb is a way for people to rent out their homes to random people like me while they’re out of town, or during the summer when they travel. It’s usually far cheaper than a hotel and a more “local” way to experience … >> find out more...
There’s a castle. In Kenya. Just outside of Nakuru town, to be exact. When I think of castles, I think of Europe, not Africa, but in November, I saw it with my very own eyes. It belonged to Lord Egerton, someone I had never heard of. His story encapsulates true love and heartache like I’ve never heard before.
Maurice Egerton was born the fourth Baron Egerton in Cheshire. He was a keen photographer and aviator, even calling the Wright Brothers friends! After being granted some land and buying a further 21,000 acres from his pal Lord Delamere, he found himself a resident of the luscious Kenyan farmland in the 1920’s. He established a school, currently known as Egerton University, to teach young people about agriculture and farming.
The story gets crazy circa 1938 when he met a nice young lady that he fell in love with while on leave in England. Knowing a proposal was in the future, he took the lady (whose name no one really knows) to Kenya to see her future home. Apparently the four room structure wasn’t up to her standards. She exclaimed that she would not live in that chicken coop!
In an effort to … >> find out more...
Salad. It’s what’s for dinner. Or lunch. And this mediterranean spinach salad is packed with power foods and protein and color and flavors of the mediterranean. It’s the perfect meal to add to your weekly menu, whether or not you are working toward a healthier lifestyle. A salad that’s just plain good, and ideal for a light and healthy yet satisfying dinner. It’s also an easy one to prep the ingredients and portion out for lunches during the week.
Start with your favorite salad greens and add fresh veggies like crisp english cucumbers (I like these because I can skip the step of peeling them), juicy grape tomatoes and green onion. On top of that, go for the tangy brine of fresh olives. A local grocery store boasts a lovely olive bar, and I enjoy an assortment of black and green las seen here. Avoid the soggy kind in the can. Don’t forget the roasted red peppers for smokiness and sweetness and color. Toss in some protein with hard boiled egg and shredded chicken, then add some delightful crunch with toasted nuts (try it with pistachios!) and mmmmmm. Really, it’s gorgeous and savory and has so many wonderful textures and flavors. Healthy eating is beautiful and delicious.
You … >> find out more...