Category: Family

Happy Birthday to My Little Boy

My little guy turned 11 today.  He’s not so little anymore.  It’s hard to know how to feel about this, but I can tell you that the two prevailing emotions are pride and a bittersweet nostalgia.

 

happy birthday boyphoto by Ashley Thalman Photography

 

This son of mine was so hard to come by and is such an impossibly perfect outcome of a terrible medical situation; sometimes the closeness of it all just takes my breath away.  During my a nightmare of a pregnancy with him, I was on permanent bed-rest with an I.V. and an in-home nurse and my body shut down one organ at a time.  About once a week I was rushed to the hospital for some emergency or another.

And yet, and yet.  Here he is.

 

marker mustache

 

On August 25th, 2004 I went into labor.  I was watching the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, watching some virtually unknown kid named Michael Phelps blow up the pool.  I was actually, literally watching Phelps swim while I labored at home, with no earthly idea 11 years later almost to the week, we’d be in Hawaii as a family watching my boy swim at the national championships of … >> 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!

Quote of the Week: The Impossible

This week’s Petit Elefant Quote of the Week is from the poet Theodore Roethke.

(If you’re just getting started, we’re on week 6 of the new inspiring quote series.  If you’re interested in catching up, here are links to week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5 and week 6 of the Petit Elefant Quote of the Week.)

This week’s quote, isn’t just a Quote of the Week, it’s also part of Shot@Life’s Blogust 2015—a month-long blog relay—where some of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions will come together and share inspirational quotes for their children. Every time you comment on this post and other Blogust contributions, or take action using the social media on this website, Shot@Life and the United Nations Foundation pages, one vaccine will be donated to a child around the world (up to 50,000).

So please, pretty please, comment, share, take social media action, and help us reach 50,000 vaccines.  Last year I asked for your help on behalf of my sick daughter Sofie.  Not only did you help raise money for a record number of vaccines, you lifted up my … >> 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!

Strawberry Freezer Jam

If you haven’t made your own jam before, you’re really missing out! Nothing store-bought can compare to the look and taste of homemade freezer jam. And it’s crazy simple. Really. And you know what else? My top secret fool-proof recipe comes straight from inside the little box of pectin. It hasn’t failed me yet! Follow along and you’ll be licking your own glittering spoonful of summery super-sweetness in no time.strawberry freezer jam

A few tips to begin with: use fresh, ripe in-season fruit that has been thoroughly rinsed. I’m using strawberries in this example, but raspberries, blueberries and apricots also work beautifully. You can use any strawberries you like, but I’m convinced that the small-ish imperfect ones like you find at the farm stand have a truer strawberry flavor than the gigantic kind you often find in grocery stores, and result in a better jam. If you prefer less sweetness, opt for low-sugar pectin and follow those instructions for tasty results. I simply prefer the look, texture and taste of the original.

strawberry freezer jam Ingredients for this strawberry freezer jam:

4 cups of strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 2-3 pints)

4 cups of sugar

1 box of regular pectin

3/4 cup water

crushing strawberriesMash your… >> 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.

Quote of the Week You and Me

This week’s Petit Elefant Quote of the Week is a good one.  A summery, ocean-y, happy one.  Are you liking this series?  I am, because I’ll tell you what: I have an obsessively huge repository of good quotes taking up notebook after notebook and one entire Pinterest board. For reals.

If you’re just getting started, we’re on week 6 of the new inspiring quote series.  If you’re interested in catching up, here are links to week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, and week 5 of the Petit Elefant Quote of the Week.

sea quote

This week’s Petit Elefant Quote of the Week is from one of my favorite writers, poets, of all time, e.e. cummings.  Do you know his work?  It makes me feel floaty and ethereal, in the very best kind of way.  And Mister Cummings talks a lot about things that make me happy, like the ocean, and roses, and babies.  You know, the simple but happy pleasures in life.

 

Petit Elefant Quote of the Week

for whatever we lose

(like a you or a me),

it’s always our self

we find in the sea.

– e.e. cummings –

>> 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!

Time to Stand + Have Uncomfortable Conversations

It’s time to have a conversation about race.  And it might be uncomfortable, but it’s time to stand up and start the discussion.

I can’t sit back for one more minute and hear some of the things that are being said by my white friends and neighbors and perfect strangers about black people in America today.

I know you mostly come to Petit Elefant for fluffy, fun recipes and beauty DIY’s and tutorials but today we’re having a serious, badly needed discussion about race.  If you don’t like it, feel free to skip it and wait for tomorrow’s post.  But I do hope you’ll stick around and read to the bottom, because figuring out how to stanch the bleeding is going to take all of us.

 

cousins

Let’s start by stating the obvious:  I’m white.  A super lily-white Mormon girl from the actual middle of Utah.  I grew up in a super wealthy neighborhood in Orem, Utah whose population is primarily educated white Mormons.  My school classes in elementary school were filled with all white kids, and mostly white teachers and administrators, (except for my Spanish-Immersion teachers, most of whom were from Mexico).  I attended a super elite private school … >> 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!

Petit Elefant Quote of the Week

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.  We’re starting out a new week with a new quote, this week from beloved Emily Dickinson.  A little encouragement and love spread out in the world is never a bad thing, and life’s purpose doesn’t always have to be grand.

But Emily said it best.

emily dickinson

Petit Elefant Quote of the Week

If I can stop one heart

from breaking

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life

the aching,

or cool one pain,

or help one fainting robin

unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

– Emily Dickinson –

 

 

If you’re just getting started, we’re on week 5 of the new inspiring quote series.  If you’re interested in catching up, here are links to week 1, week 2, week 3 and week 4 of Petit Elefant Quote of the Week.

>> 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!

Petit Elefant Quote of the Week

Have you been following along with our new series, the Petit Elefant Quote of the Week?  I love thinking about quotes, writing them down, and am currently loving sharing them with you, and I hope you’re loving reading them.

If you’re just getting started, we’re on week 4 of the new inspiring quote series.  If you’re interested in catching up, here are links to week 1, week 2 and week 3 of Petit Elefant Quote of the Week.

 

the quote of the week

Petit Elefant Quote of the Week

Simple

is

good.

– Jim Henson –

>> 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!

Do You Believe In Life After Death?

People often believe only what they choose to believe, not what may be unbelievable but true.” – Janis Heaphy Durham

Do YOU believe in life after death?  Stay with me here, I know it’s an off-putting question to ask on a random Thursday, but let’s talk about it for a bit.

Life After Death

I’ve always believed in life after death, primarily because I’m a Mormon and one of the main tenets of my religion is that there was life before this one, and another after we die.  It doesn’t seem strange to me at all to think of the state of life as fluid, moving from one sphere to the next.

But I absolutely understand that it’s a strange concept for a lot of people; I get it.  It’s one of those feel-y, faith-y things, and plenty of people think the idea of life after death is completely bananas.  In fact, the author of the new book, The Hand On The Mirror, Janis Heaphy Durham, was one of them.  Durham was a journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning publisher of the newspaper the Sacramento Bee, a fact-based professional if there ever was one, whose notion of the whole thing was flipped … >> 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!

On Learning to Let Go: Motherhood

 

// Today’s post is brought to you in partnership with OGX Beauty to help them celebrate the 1st annual #BadAssHairDay, a holiday created to banish the idea of bad hair days, and to help all women feel more confident, to embrace what makes them feel truly Bad Ass.  One of the things that makes me feel Bad Ass (all caps, really) is being a mom, a really good one.  To me being a good mom, a Bad Ass mom, is learning to listen to, and trust myself.  I’d love to know what makes you feel Bad Ass, in any + every area of your life.  As always, thank you for your kindness to and support of Petit Elefant sponsors. //

 

family

Motherhood has been the theme of my life.  The purpose of my being.  A few weeks ago I shared a piece I wrote about Motherhood and its central role for me, and before and since I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, this grand title of mother and what it all means.

The love of children, of infants and babies, of other souls and their quirks and singular humanness is maybe the only part of mothering … >> 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!