My Kindle eReader Has Changed My Reading Life

My Kindle eReader and I have become inseparable over the last couple of years.  Besties.  We go everywhere together.  I was using my Kindle before then, and used a Nook eReader before that, but somehow in the last couple of years I’ve incorporated my Kindle into my life completely, and now I just can’t live without it.  It goes with me everywhere, all day long, and because I’m listening to audio books instead of taking time to sit down to read on the couch, I read non-stop.

I take my Kindle on my daily walks, carpool drop off and pick up, while I fold laundry and when I edit photos, while I cook dinner and do dishes, and while I fall asleep at night.  Seriously, the case on my Kindle is starting to look like a beloved paperback, all dinged on the cover and shredded at the edges.

amazon kindle

If you’re a book lover and don’t currently have an e-reader, get on that business ASAP.  Put it on your wish list for whatever: birthday, anniversary, work-iversary, or your I-made-it-to-the-end-of-the-week celebration.

Because of my Kindle, I’m reading 2-3 books a week as opposed to maybe 2-3 in a … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

5 Reasons You Need To Visit Puerto Vallarta Mexico

puerto vallarta beaches

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico holds a special place in my heart.  I’ve visited three times, and each visit is better than the last.  In fact, I love Puerto Vallarta so much I wanted to honeymoon there, but we were young and broke and ended up going somewhere closer to home (read: cheaper) instead.  But a year ago, my husband and I decided it was time for a romantic getaway to Mexico, 17+ years and two kids later.  It was magnificent, like I knew it would be, and I cannot wait to go back.

puerto vallarta mexico

What’s so great about Puerto Vallarta?  Well, besides everything, I’ve made a list of my top 5 favorite reasons to head to Mexico as fast as your little feet can carry you.

palm tree vacation packing

Top 5 reasons to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:

  1. The beach
  2. The cost
  3. The food
  4. The ocean
  5. The people

 

hotel
  1. The beach

Mexican beaches are absolutely breathtaking.  I mean, the sunsets alone are worth the trip. Beautiful sand, great waves, shell collecting, snorkeling, surfing, warm water, you name it; the beaches in Mexico are wonderful.  We laid around and played on the beach for a solid week, and found the whole experience to be nothing … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

Making Biking A part Of Your Every Day

Biking is quickly becoming a part of my daily routine since my new bike came into my life, and is my new favorite way to get around.  Most of us grow up riding bikes as kids, but not many of us keep riding as adults, especially as a primary mode of transportation. But we should all be out biking, all the time.  It’s so much fun I almost feel like a kid again, and it’s such great exercise.  I love it.

bike helmets

I live in an especially gorgeous small town, nestled right up against the Wasatch mountains, so it’s no chore to get out and bike every day, even if I’m not headed anywhere specific.

beach cruiser bike

If I don’t get a chance during the day to head out on a ride by myself, (which is quickly becoming my favorite way to decompress in the middle of the workday) a post-dinner ride with my family is the next best thing.

sunset bike ride

Okay, let’s be honest, biking with my family is probably the first best thing.

biking to work

Everyone in town seems to hang out in their yards and streets at night, relaxing from the day by gardening, playing with kids, running, skating, or … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

International Travel Checklist

International Travel Checklist

Traveling internationally can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re a first timer. Don’t worry. This continent hopping extraordinaire has you covered with an international travel checklist. I don’t necessarily pretend that this is an exhaustive list, but the ten questions below should help create some peace of mind as you prepare for that excursion to a different land.

1. Did I update myself on travel laws and do I have the appropriate documents? Laws are always changing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “I’ve been there before. I know how it works.” Last year I scrambled to get a Kenyan visa, because they changed the system from getting them at the airport to an online process. South Africa (the country I currently choose to call home) drastically changed their laws last year regarding travel with kids. I have seen people turned away at the airport because they didn’t have the right documents. There is no amount of sweet talking that will get you past sticky situations like these. The best source I’ve found to double check laws for the particular country you are traveling to is U.S. Department of State Consular Affairs site. If you are not American, I’m sure the consular … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

How We Decorated Our Study In Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern is my new favorite everything.  Period.  I had no idea I had such a thing for 1950’s and 1960’s style until we started renovating my house one room at a time, and over and over again mid-century modern pieces kept popping up on my inspiration boards.  Our family room remodel ended up having bits and pieces of mid-century modern throughout, and as we’ve decorated the rest of the house it has become obvious I have a major thing for the style of that (wicked stylish) time period.

study re-decorate

Speaking of mid-century modern, our study redesign is finally finished, and I can’t wait to show you. But first I want to share the pieces we used to put it together.  The whole idea for this room was to swap it out from brown-on-brown-on-brown, on-boring to bright and gorgeous and modern.

It was really important to us to keep the function of the room, which is a major hangout for the kids to work on homework at the computer or to play Legos, or lounge on the sofa.  So when I picked out all the furniture for the room I thought function first, then form, but I managed to keep … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

My Easy Tips For Putting Together My Weekly Menu

A weekly menu is the best thing since sliced bread.  Or cream puffs.  Actually, a weekly menu is the best thing since chocolate.  Well, maybe not chocolate, that’s crazy talk, but let me put it this way: my weekly menu saves my life.

cookbooks

I’ve done every kind of meal planning there is: flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants planning, organized-but-not-written-down planning, no-planning-of-any-kind, eating-out-instead-of-planning, and most recently, writing-it-all-down-and-being-extra-organized.

The best out of all the meal planning options?  Writing it all down and being extra organized.

how to put together a weekly menu

For about the last year and a half I’ve been vigilant about putting together meal plans and grocery lists every week, and it has saved my bacon.  (see what I did there?)  Even if we end up being in a hurry and eating out here and there, having it all organized ahead of time means even with the occasional treat out, most weeks we sit down at least 5 nights for a legit family meal.

I love it.

grocery list

Since I’ve figured out my system, my life feels so much less stressed.  I know what we’re eating for dinner by 7:30 AM every day, which means if something needs to go in the crock pot  all day, … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

Love And Friendship Movie + A Giveaway

It’s giveaway time! Get excited because not only is there a Jane Austen book + bookmark involved (hooray!), there’s also a $100 Amazon gift card and movie t-shirt up for grabs.

Let’s talk about the new movie and what this means for you.

// This post is in partnership with Roadside Attractions.  Thank you for always being so gracious to Petit Elefant sponsors. // 

love & friendship movie

The new movie, Love & Friendship (in theaters now) is based on the unfinished Jane Austen novella, Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated by Whit Stillman. Have you ever heard of it or read it?  I didn’t even know it existed which means I’m about to head own a Jane Austen rabbit hole of reading, which, let’s be honest, is the very best kind.  Especially because this book is apparently right up there with the rest of Jane Austen’s hilariously witty body of work.  I’m kind of dying I didn’t know this existed and am now extra excited to see the movie (with Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny) which is all about a foxy young widow (Kate Beckinsale) who has come to Churchill to live with her in-laws, … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

Tips For Handling Jet Lag

Tips For Handling Jet Lag

The PG version of explaining jet lag is that it’s a bear. I’ve never experienced an alcohol induced hangover, but I imagine morning hangovers have similar characteristics as jet lag…foggy brain, headache, blurry vision, slurred speech. If you’ve flown over multiple time zones and have the above symptoms along with the inability to form coherent thoughts, then you’re probably deep in the trenches of jet lag.

I recently flew over seven time zones. As if 23 total hours trapped with over 300 other passengers in a tin can wasn’t enough to kick the old noggin into a state of disorientation, skipping through different continents sealed the deal. Upon arriving in the good ole US of A, I didn’t know whether to tell the immigration officer thank you, siyabonga, or danke when he stamped my entry into my country of birth. I went with a slight head nod and methodically followed the herd to find my baggage.

Although there’s no way to avoid the somewhat debilitating effects of jet lag, there is hope. With concentrated effort on your part, you will be back on track in no time. I follow these three easy steps and find that my sleep patterns return to a … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

A New Inspiring Quote For You This Week

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about my Quote of the Week series that sort of fell by the wayside a few months ago.  Things get weird in the winter around here.  It’s all cold and hunkering down to get through the long winter nights.  I’m more of a summer girl. But I want to keep the series going, so I’m starting today with a new quote from one of my favorite artists of all time, Mr. Vincent Van Gogh.

new inspiring quote

Quote of the Week

The fact is that we are

all painters in real life, and

the important thing is to

breathe

as hard as we ever

can breathe.

-Vincent Van Gogh-

If you’re looking for more inspiring motivational quotes, you can find them right here!

>> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!