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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...
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...
Netflix is my other lover, there’s just no getting around it. My husband has accepted it, I’ve accepted it, and our life is all the better for it. In fact, there’s not much else that gets my motor running in a deep, dark, grey, snowy cold winter than a snuggly night in front of the fireplace with some good shows to watch on Netflix. It makes me happy just thinking about it. I wanted to share the love, so I came up with a good solid list of 5 things you should be watching on Netflix now.
I couldn’t in good conscience come up with a list of what you should (binge) watch on Netflix this weekend without adding a good British drama / romance. It’s not good bingeing if accents aren’t involved, it just isn’t. One of these days I’m going to write a post of ALLLLLLLLLL the BBC shows you need to watch before you die. And there are many.
But I digress. Let’s get to the list of what you need to be watching THIS weekend.
Pride & Prejudice with Kiera Knightley
Jane Austen was brilliant, no question about it. And it’s rare that … >> find out more...
I have ideas for you for citrus season, so many ideas. A heap of recipes and beauty DIY’s and drink ideas using lemons, oranges and grapefruits, oh my!
I love citrus season the most. There’s something so fresh and delicious about citrus, isn’t there? I love everything about it. The smell is so refreshing and crisp and can make anything better: bath scrubs and salts, candles, soaps, air freshener, salads, and drinks. Oh, it’s just the very best!
So, buckle up because I have a roundup of almost 20 citrus lovin’ recipes below. YUM!
Enjoy all that citrus! Go out and make something delicious and lovely this week, and be sure … >> find out more...
Let’s make DIY boot holders!
Did you know you can make your own DIY boot holders with a couple of empty paper towel tubes? And it’s SO EASY. Because you basically have to do nothing. This is one of those DIY’s where all you have to do is show up, so even your mom can do it. Especially your mom. (sorry, mom joke. I can’t even help it.)
I have a few pairs of leather boots, all of which end up sad and collapsed in my master bedroom closet if they don’t have internal reinforcement. And it’s not great for boots (or any shoes, actually) to collapse in on themselves when they’re not being worn. Which is one of the reasons shoes in stores are filled with cardboard and tissue paper. Shoes need something to hold the place of feet when they’re not in use, otherwise they crumple, and leather (and suede and every other material) can fold in on itself and crack. No bueno, friends.
The easiest solution, for boots, is empty paper towel tubes. I was pretty skeptical the first time I tried this trick, but it’s basically cheap magic (which is the … >> find out more...
Christmas just isn’t Christmas until I’ve made my famous homemade toffee. It’s gotten to the point where if I don’t make it and hand it out as gifts, my neighbors ask if everything is okay at my house. It really is that good, but it takes enough butter that I only make it once a year. It’s my favorite quick, homemade Christmas neighbor gift. And this year I added caramel popcorn for something a little extra delicious.
Here’s how the whole thing goes down:
- Use my homemade toffee recipe to make as many batches of toffee as you need. One batch makes about 1 pound of candy, so I make about 3-4 batches to have enough for about 15 neighbor gifts. This year I added caramel popcorn to the treat bag. It not only adds extra deliciousness, it also fills out the bag so the homemade toffee goes a little further. I got about 20 neighbor gifts out of 3 batches of toffee after I added popcorn.
… >> find out more...
- Using any labels you want (I used Martha Stewart labels from an office store) write out your Christmas / holiday message.
- Stick label to a cellophane bag before filling.
// This post is sponsored by CBS Films. As always the opinions, naughty children, and stories are all mine. Thank you for being kind to Petit Elefant sponsors. //
Congrats to Number 23, Rachel! Please contact us right away, Rachel, and enjoy your trip to see family this holiday season!
I’m a recovering perfectionist. Which is to say, I strive for happy perfection always but at least now I recognize the fault in it, and the impossibility of actual, true perfection. In fact, I’d say I’m doing a pretty good job letting go and letting things happen naturally these days. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want things to be ‘picture perfect’, but the older I get the more I realize how genuinely mistaken it is to try and make things ‘just right’ when ‘getting it done’ is almost always better.
The holidays bring out the O.C.D. in people like me, people who’d like family functions to have a closely followed itinerary and no snags in the plan. But the more family holidays I enjoy, the more I realize just how great imperfect plans are, and how much more joy they allow for than a ‘canned’ experience.
A … >> find out more...
Do you have a favorite quote about gratitude that you like to keep in your heart? Especially this time of year, our thoughts turn to taking note of our many many blessings and messages of inspiration. This easy little Thanksgiving Platter project is a simple, sentimental way to immortalize those thoughts of gratitude.
What you’ll need:
- An oven safe plate, platter, or mug
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton pads or puffs or cotton swabs
- Oil based paint pens-sharpie brand or other. Mine are a different brand and it all worked out just fine.
- An oven
Start by giving your plate a good swipe with the rubbing alcohol, making sure it is clean and dry before inking it up.
Then, choose your favorite thankful sentiment, quote, or thought. After practicing on paper once or twice, just free-hand write or draw directly onto your plate or platter or mug. Add any little swirls or embellishments you like. If you make a mistake, juste wipe it off with alcohol and cotton. No bigs. Just be sure to wipe off any and all smudges completely. When your design is done, set it aside for 2-3 days. Yes, days. This allows the paint to dry thoroughly and really … >> find out more...
It’s the Neflix binge-watch recommendation time of the month, are you ready? Oh boy, do I have a good one for you. I had the unfortunate luck last week to get waylaid by a terrible flu, but the good news is I had plenty of time in bed to binge on a new Netflix show. Since I was down and out for the count, I took the advice of my husband and watched Hell On Wheels. My husband and a couple of his co-workers have been trying to push AMC’s Hell on Wheels on me for months, but it just looked a little too, I don’t know? Dude-centric? But if you’re in the same boat let me just go ahead and give you this recommendation:
I started the show 72-hours ago and I’m already on season 3. SEASON 3 guys, in 3 days.
The show is set in the time period right after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, as the American transcontinental railroad starts heading West in a race to meet up with the Union Pacific. And I don’t know, I guess it just isn’t something I’ve thought a whole lot about, even though I … >> find out more...