Month: September 2012

And then I cried; it’s okay to ask for help

If you’ve been paying close attention lately (I haven’t) you’ve probably noticed I’ve been M.I.A. for awhile.  A long while.  This year has been unintentionally awful for me physically speaking, (like one has an intentionally horrible medical year?) even though I’ve tried to make deliberate healthful decisions.  I’ve said no to projects I really wanted, turned down travel, and have generally laid low in my day-to-day life.  I started eating vegan, work out regularly, take naps, hired someone to clean my house twice a month, and outsourced my finances.  2012 was supposed to be the year of me getting healthy while living purposefully.  Being in charge!  Because I am the boss of me!  And being the boss of me means being healthy and feeling awesome and achieving world domination!

Only not so much.

it's okay to ask for help

I don’t know what happened, but sometime around April things went all prickly pear shaped.  They hadn’t really been circle-y since January, but after a bit of travel in April and May my body started saying:

No thank you.  You don’t get to be in charge anymore.  We’ll take it from here, and that means one migraine a week.  Minimum.’

Every time … >> 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!

Red Carpet Twitter Party

You know you love it. Prime time. Red carpets. Celebrities. Awards shows. Fashion. All of it. And I know you want to join me and Diet Pepsi for a Fun, Fizz or Flair Twitter Party during Sunday night’s big awards show. So. Much. Fun.

We’ll be tweeting live, covering all the fashion, flair, glamour, glitz and surprises, and sending a little woot! woot! to Sofia Vergara on her big night. Also, a dozen of our twitter party guests will win $100 Spa Finder gift certificates. Awesome sauce.

The deets:

When: Sunday, September 23rd, 8-9pm Eastern Time/5-6pm Pacific.

What #FizzorFlat Twitter Party via this Tweetgrid  http://bit.ly/RQGqiB.

Who: Me! @petit_elefant, along with fabulous gals @VeraSweeney and @romyraves.

RSVP http://bit.ly/fizzorflat to be eligible for prizes, and be sure to use this hashtag #FizzorFlat during the party.

You’ll be there. I know it.

 

Kimberly

...by day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.

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Autumn veggie soup with pesto and cheese toast

Well…it’s autumn now, isn’t it?  And that means soup.  Lots and lots of hearty vegetable-filled soups.

This soup is chock full of healthy veggies that won’t leave you missing any meat.  Add a tasty pesto-Gruyere toast and you’ve got yourself a five-star dinner.

vegetable soup veggie soup

I used veggies that I had on hand.  You could add other veggies like sweet potatoes or winter squash, different leafy greens (kale or shredded spinach would be nice), celery, leeks, fennel, parsnips, turnips or rutabaga.  Add more herbs if you want–rosemary, thyme, marjoram or parsley.  It’s kind of one of those whatever-you-need-to-use-up kind of soups.  It is very similar to minestrone soup.  Actually, this basically is minestrone without the pasta.  But you could add that in too, if you want.

Whatever you do, make sure you make enough because you’ll be coming back for seconds and thirds.  Especially for the pesto-Gruyere toasts.  (Come to think of it, you might want to double that part of the recipe.)

veggie soup

fall vegetable soup
Autumn Vegetable Soup with Pesto-Gruyere Toasts

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5-6 large ripe plum tomatoes, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 cups cooked
>> 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!

Chicken zucchini fajitas and chipotle

chicken chipotle fajitas

Are you still swimming in summer zucchini from your garden?  (I totally am.)  These fajitas are another great way to use up all of that zucchini.

So here’s the thing–my husband doesn’t care for Mexican food very much.  (I still married him.)  But he loved these.  My kids loved them.  I sat back and watch them eat them up.  And then a few days later I made them again and the same thing happened.  That’s the sign of a good family dinner everyone can enjoy, am I right?

chicken zucchini fajitas chicken chipotle fajitas

My favorite part was the chipotle crema.  I’m a sucker for a good sauce, what can I say?

A friend of mine that used to live across the street from me, introduced me to Bufalo Chipotle hot sauce.  She and her husband are some of the best cooks I know and I loved being invited to their house for dinner.  He lived in Mexico for a few years, so as you can imagine, his Mexican food was outrageously good.  They mixed a little of the chipotle sauce with Crema Mexicana and I was immediately smitten.  You’ll never go back to plain crema once you try it.

chicken chipotle fajitas

Okay, so dinner is all taken … >> 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!

Jewel tone for Fall 2012

I might not be at NYFW right now (to my husband the uninitiated, that’s New York Fashion Week) but I still know it’s all about bright colors on the runways this Fall.  Pops of color everywhere are making a comeback in a big way.  While less garish than the 80’s (one can hope), there isn’t so much a color of the moment as much as tones of color right now and that means: jewel tone for Fall 2012.

Jewel Tones!

 

Big, beautiful, bright jewel tones for Fall.  Get into it.

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!

How to discover art you love

Art is a tricky thing sometimes.  There’s all this pressure to like cool art, to have a very specific taste for the finer things in life, but how does one get there in the first place?  It’s personal, knowing which art is for you, just like picking out a favorite pair of shoes or getting the perfect haircut.  You’re the only one who can make that call because at the end of the day you’re the one with the asymmetrical haircut and leopard flats.  Art is like that for me, a visceral reaction to something beautiful;  there’s no right or wrong about taste.  It’s all about what makes you purr inside.

Here’s how to discover art you love.

Some of my favorite art is spray-painted on the walls of the subway in New York City.  I have a very small and simple watercolor from a street artist in Prague that is among my favorite possessions.  I paid the equivalent of  less than $10 for it, and it is only 5 x 7 inches but it’s stunning.  It doesn’t matter to me that the artist isn’t famous or that he paints 20 small watercolors a day for tourists.  The painting reminds … >> 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!

Minty watermelon cucumber cooler

minty watermelon cucumber cooler minted watermelon cooler

Monday may have marked the end of summer, but it’s still hot during the day, and I’m still enjoying summer melon and cucumbers.  I still need something to cool me off in the afternoon after I’ve been running errands all day and just need to put my feet up and relax a bit.

This is a version of my favorite go-to juice.  (I left out the spinach.  The color isn’t as pretty.)  It only uses a tiny bit of sugar–just enough to muddle with the fresh mint leaves.  Make sure to find a really good, heavy melon.  Hopefully you’ll get lucky and it will be as sweet as the one I used.  It was nectar–pure, sweet nectar.

Bottoms up!

minted watermelon cucumber cooler

Minted Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler

  • 1/4 large watermelon
  • 1 cucumber (use more if you want more cucumber flavor), plus extra slices for garnish
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, save some for the garnish
  • 1/4 evaporated cane juice or raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, plus extra slices for garnish

Seed the watermelon and cucumber.  Puree in a blender.  Muddle the mint with the sugar.  Mix with the watermelon/cucumber puree.  Stir well and let sit for awhile for flavors to meld.  Strain through … >> 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!

Cheap basic back to school supplies

Hi, my name is Allison and I’m addicted to school supplies.  I’m not even going to try and repent, there’s nothing forbidden about my love.  Especially when it comes to the cheap basic back to school supplies all over store shelves right now.

Aren’t these pencils pretty?  I can’t even handle it.

office supplies office supplies back to school

All the back to school supply sales at the end of summer are my favorite, in an I-totally-have-a-problem kind of way, but I’ve found a way to make my addiction justifiable.  It’s called donation.  I buy as many school supplies as I can afford when the pencils are .14 cents a dozen and a reams of paper are .50 cents each, and then I find a way to donate what I collect.  There are so many schools filled with children who can’t afford to buy school supplies and so many teachers digging into their own shallow pockets to make up the difference, any donations are gratefully accepted all over my community.

In addition to that, I like to send a box once in a while to another country where schoolhouses are humble and children are extremely thankful for every small donation.  When we traveled to … >> 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!