Category: Family

Hardships Of Living With A Gorgeous Brother

It’s story time today, so pull up a chair and get comfortable.  I’m sharing a tragically funny story about the hardships of growing up with a gorgeous older brother.

Over the weekend we went out of town for a 4-day state championship swim meet a few hours away from home.  My little family stayed with my aunt and uncle so we could rest and hang out at their house in-between morning and afternoon swim sessions.  If you’ve ever attended a swim meet, you know that they go on, and on, and onnnnnnnnnn so even if a meet is only a couple of hours from home, it’s so much easier for everyone to stay somewhere close to the pool for the weekend.

Hardship Of Living With A Gorgeous BrotherI feel so lucky my aunt and uncle live so close because this is the third year in a row we’ve crashed at their house for this particular swim meet.  We not only get 5-star accommodations, we also get precious family time in-between morning and afternoon swim sessions.  And we all know the best thing about family time is the unedited story telling, especially when the heroes and heroines of the story aren’t with you to defend their name(s).… >> 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!

Learning About Your Within Self

life philosophy

photo by Linsey Ybarra

 


I’ve been learning about myself over the last couple of years, in a very philosophical type of way.  I mean, I already know who I am, what I like, what I’m good at and what I’m not, what I don’t love, what I’m willing to tolerate, and on and on.  But the last couple of years of my life, more than any other, have been the hardest of my life.  There’s been a lot going on with my own health, and then there was the whole awful saga with my daughter over the last year and a half, where we couldn’t figure out why she was puking 25 times a day for months and months and months on end.


It would be trite to say it’s been a trying experience.  There isn’t any way, in any languages I know, to describe what my life has been like on the inside for the last couple of years.  So I won’t even try.  But what I will say is this:  as a result of my heart wrenching experiences, I know who I am within and without in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without suffering
>> 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!

4 Favorite Clean Eating Fixes

clean eating titleFriends, gather round for some easy clean eating shortcuts. I mean, I really love a big fat cheeseburger every now and then, with a Diet Coke. But, the sodas and the burgers don’t usually leave me feeling healthy and energetic, and they definitely don’t leave me feeling swim-suit ready. So, though I’m not hard core or anything close to perfect, I try to stick to a fairly “clean” and wholesome diet most of the time. The definition of “clean eating” might be generally ambiguous, but for me it’s whole grains, fresh lean proteins, plenty of fresh produce, lots of water, less sugar, fewer refined white carbs, fewer preservatives & processing.

It’s not as complicated as you might think, this clean eating thing.  Breakfast and snacks seemed to be our weak points, so here I’ve gathered a few of our favorite easy fixes for sprucing up our eating habits.

kodiak cakes pancakes1. Pancakes. A major favorite at my house. Instead of enriched processed flour and high-sugar mixes, we really love this brand–I’ve found it at Costco and at Sam’s Club. My boys are crazy about it. To amp up the pancakes with extra power I often add mashed banana or a scoop of … >> find out more...

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.

Letting It Go

Hello friends!  I hope you’re all doing well today, I really mean it.  I hope it’s gloriously beautiful wherever you are, and that even if you’re neck-deep in snow or smog, or something less savory, that you’ve made your day happy in your own way.

I believe in you.

Letting Go Have you ever chosen a word or phrase as a kind of personal mantra for yourself?  I know a lot of people choose a word at the beginning of every new year, and some people live life by a specific mantra, but up until this year I’d never really tried it.  But this year, on January 1st, I chose a personal mantra:

LET IT GO

Not like the Disney song from the movie Frozen, (although, that song is seriously the best ever even if you’re so, so, so sick of it right now) but more like,  Let It GO, a philosophy for living the best life possible.  For me means a lot of things.

LETTING GO:

  • of being angry at my body for having a disease, and choosing to love it instead, because being sick has taught me to be truly, deeply empathetic and compassionate, and I’m so appreciative
>> 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!

Homemade Watercolor Valentine Cards

homemade watercolor cardsYou know you want to get artistic today. Even though Valentine’s Day is notorious for reminding the single folk of their singlehood – with glaring, overstuffed bears and overpriced roses in every store. It pressure couples to heights of Olympic couple-ness, shaking once-stable sweethearts with heart-shaped everything and oversweet chocolate everything. I know, I have been both of those people on February 14th and neither is all that great. Try a Google search of “Valentine’s Day is…” and you’ll see results like “…a stupid holiday” or “…overrated”.

Petit Elefantw

But remember Valentine’s Day in elementary school? Remember cutting out endless symmetrical paper-fold hearts? Remember pink and red versions candies? Remember writing every classmate’s name on every single card? (I would always save my favorite card for my favorite boy classmate.) Elementary school Valentines were actually fun.

I think we ought to bring the Valentine’s Day of grade school out of the memory box and back to real, adult life. We forget that Valentine’s Day can be about love in general. I love “love in general.” Love in general includes boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, offspring and crushes – but more outstandingly, love in general closes its arms around our family, friends, co-workers, … >> find out more...

elliepeek

19 years old, and deeply happy to be alive. I am an aspiring writer and human being. I am an English major at Brigham Young University. I write a heavy bit of poetry, and eat a heavy bit of Indian food. I lived in Germany for a bit, but currently call Utah my home. I want to travel as much as time and cash will permit, in this short and spectacular life - and look good while doing it.

Good Fortune Valentines and a Free Printable

good fortune valentine printable I love using free printable Valentines for my boys each year. It feels sorta like we are making our own adorable, homemade, super crafty Valentines filled with love and joy, but really, it’s just a matter of download-print-sign. Done. No folding or envelope stuffing or ribbon tying. Unless you want them that way, of course. I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart to the mad talents out there who share their cleverness with the rest of us. It’s kinda the best.

good fortune valentine printable

This year, my little guy presented very specific ideas for his class Valentines. He wanted to give out fortune cookies, taped to cards with hearts and red words that said “You are my good fortune, Valentine.”  Okee dokee, kiddo. We started searching, and found some reasonable options, but none that truly matched his vision. So we made our own! I know that in a year or two he’ll be less enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day, but for now he’s really pleased with these. And I admit, it was pretty fun to design these with his adorable 8 year old little brain in charge.

fortune valentine printable

DOWNLOAD THE PDF FILE HERE: fortune cookie valentines

Today, it is your good fortune to grab … >> find out more...

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.

Advice on Love from To Kill a Mockingbird

Our young contributor, Whitney, has been waxing nostalgic ever since the announcement that a new Harper Lee book will be published on July 14.  (She is also lovely, bright, clever and single, wink wink.) This is what she has to say about it!, and we couldn’t agree more.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird has been my favorite book since I first read it in fifth or sixth grade. (What can I say? I was precocious, even if I didn’t know exactly what “precocious” was.)

The big news made me want to create a tribute in words to the words that have meant so much to so many—even though I know Lee herself hates when others ride the coattails of Mockingbird‘s success. I tried some punny Valentines inspired by the book.  But I could only think of one halfway decent pun:

Harper Lee Valentines

So I scrapped that. It just feels wrong to say, “I ‘Atticus’ you out if you won’t be mine.”

Instead, I’ve decided to share a few nuggets of truth about love from the classic. Lee herself called the book “a love story, pure and simple,” so it seems fitting. Sure, Mockingbird doesn’t feature the romantic love that typically inspires Valentine’s … >> find out more...

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.

Adorable and FREE Printable Valentines

You know you want some free printable Valentines!  Because yes, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Have you even started thinking about Valentine’s Day cards for you or your kids yet? If not, I’ve got you covered with these 5 AWESOME Valentine’s Day cards that are free, printable and super cute.

Free Printable Valentines

1. DIY Superhero Valentine’s from 100 Layer Cake-let: Loving these SUPER cute superhero cards that can easily be printed out and crafted!

Free Printable Valentines

2. Quick & Cheesy Hubby Valentines from Eighteen25: I am kind of obsessed with these cute tags for a quick gift for the husband in your life! They are cheesy, funny, and perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Free Printable Valetines

3. Frozen Olaf Valentines from One Creative Mommy: Who doesn’t love Olaf from the movie Frozen? I think any kid would LOVE recieving one of these fun and yummy Valentines!

free printable valentines

4. Heart Sunglasses Valentines from Studio DIY: Pair these gorgeous Valentine’s Day cards with your favorite pair of shades and give them out to your friends!

free printable valentines

5. You Color My World Free Printable Valentine from DIY Candy: This Valentine’s Day card is EASY and no candy is involved! Just add a few colorful crayons and … >> find out more...

Rachel Utterback

You Do YOU

you do youI’ve been lurking in the corners of Petit Elefant for a few months, here and listening, but not participating in a way you, as readers, can see.  I’ve been going through some health stuff, privately, and I’m ready to be back here in this great community, better than ever.

I have a lot of feelings about a lot of things, almost all of them completely happy and joyful and peaceful, totally wonderful.  I’ve hesitated sharing anything quite yet, but I think it’s time.  Not the difficult details of my journey, but the good stuff.  The life stuff I’ve learned in the process.

If this doesn’t interest you, no sweat.  Skip to the stuff you like the most.  I’ll still be posting random videos of Jimmy Fallon being awesome, and sharing makeup tips, and how-to’s for your style life.  In fact, I’ve expanded team Petit Elefant a bit, and you’re going to be lucky enough to hear from a whole host of new and amazing writers I’ve hand selected to give voice to a lot of different areas of life: beauty, style, travel, parenting, life.  It will be very “LIFEY”, (to quote my brilliant, dear friend Laura Mayes) in … >> 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!