Category: Travel

SocialLuxe Lounge 2009.

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So you know the party I’ve been talking about for months, the one I’ve been planning since February {yes, it took FIVE months to make it happen}? Well, it came and went and was awesome {I’m sing-songing that part}.

The coolest thing about the party is the fact that 6 women from all across the country with different talents came together to pull off an amazing event. Jennifer is the decorator of my dreams, Beth a PR goddess, Marie go-getter and team cheerleader, Jane graphic design diva, Ciaran creative genius. Oh and me, resident pit bull and overall coordinator.

{M&M;’s Customized with our SocialLuxe Logo, so cute!}

In order for this event to actually take place, each of the hostesses invested hundreds of hours into the party. We held weekly conference calls, ongoing Skype conversations, legal calls, sponsor calls, and literally thousands of emails.

It was the most work I’ve put into anything. Ever. I had a few little nervous breakdowns, the house looked like a case study for social services, and my family ate nothing but take-out for months on end, but it was worth all the work.

The videographer of the event said the SocialLuxe >> find out more…

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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!

country inn & suites boise, idaho.

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We are just now driving home from what will be our last *official* trip of the Summer {that won’t stop us from traveling year-round!} since schools starts next week for the kids. We’re all absorbing the last hours of it, since we’ve had what can only be called The Best Summer We’ve Ever Had. We’ve been here and there, back and forth, out and about, having fun every single step of the way.


Our last Summer Stop was in Boise {Meridian} Idaho. What is there to do in Boise you say? Well, hang out as a family, that’s what. Victor and I met and fell in love in college in a small Idaho town so we have glowing memories of the place, and the drive from Salt Lake City to Boise is beautiful. All wide open spaces, and farms on rolling hills. We love it here.

We were guests of Country Inn & Suites in Boise, and we’d stay with them any time. The kids each got an cute little backpack sack when we checked in with crayons, a map to color, and goggles for the hotel pool. It was the goggles that really won them over. Not to >> find out more…

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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!

weekend at catalina island.

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I’ve wanted to go to Catalina island for a long time. On a good day you can see its outline from Ruby’s in Huntington Beach, and it’s always held a bit of mystique and grandeur for me, so when I was invited to visit along with Marie and Ciaran’s families by the Santa Catalina Island company, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I may have even said, *heck yes!*.

We took the Catalina Express bright and early out of a cloudy Long Beach harbor {the boat is cold so bring a jacket!} ending up at Catalina’s largest town, Avalon an hour-and-a-half later to beautiful sunny skies and clear blue ocean as far as the eye can see.



We walked from the dock to Hotel Atwater where we ditched our bags and headed off to lunch at Coney Island West.



I can’t find the photos but Victor figured Catalina was as good a place as any to teach Pigeons how to eat french fries out of his mouth, to the delight of the children {mine and Momfluential’s}. Nice.

Once everyone was fed we headed out on a bus tour of the island. Catalina is actually a lot bigger >> find out more…

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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!

SeaWorld San Diego.

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Victor already posted about P’s unbelievable experience of feeding Shamu at SeaWorld. It was crazy cool, and I wish they would open it up to choosing parents. I mean I have dreams too, right? Obviously so does C. They involve throwing himself into the open tank of water with Killer Whales but still, a boy can dream.

SeaWorld is about more than Shamu. I loved the interaction we all had with the animals {I got to pet a dolphin!} above all else. Not everyone gets to pet Shamu, but you can get pretty darn close to the Killer Whales before the big show. The poor girl who was *guarding* the fence to the holding tanks thought there was something wrong with me. I couldn’t get enough of the whales and the fact that they were thisclose to the fence I was clinging to. Amazing.


Eventually though, Victor pried my fingers loose and we wandered around the park for the rest of the day. Shark Encounter was a hit with the kids; we walked through a big tube with sharks swimming overhead and about, scaring even mister C *I’m addicted to adrenaline* Czarnecki.

The dolphin show was unbelievable and >> find out more…

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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!

Country Inn & Suites.

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After a long day up in the high country it was really nice not to have to drive all the way back home but stop at a hotel nearby. As guests of Country Inn & Suites we were able to relax and spend an evening in downtown Salt Lake City. The children enjoyed a quick dip in the pool, while we relaxed.

We all went to bed pretty early.

Breakfast was delicious; It was not the typical hotel wrapped danish breakfast. Hot fresh waffles, eggs, cereal, toast, all the things you would make at home on a typical lazy Sunday morning, we were there for us to enjoy. So here we are well fed, rested, and ready to drive on to Boise for the next few days. Keep checking back with us for updates and make sure to follow us on Twitter @petit_elefant.

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Michal

This is Michal's profile description. This is were Michal tells you how awesome and wonderful he is. He's just one cool cat.

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family sheepherd.

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Sometime in the early days of the 20th, one of the railroads in Utah and Wyoming was attempting to raise some funds and started selling off some of their land. That’s when some not-to-distant relatives of Allison purchased some land (lots of it) and began to run sheep there during the summer months, taking them down to the high deserts for the winter months. Up in this high country is where Allison’s father B grew up, having his own horse {Nelly, named after his beloved grandmother} by the age of three, spending months on end up in the hills in sheep camps lost among the sage, meadows, and Quaking Aspen forests.

As the price and demand for wool and mutton dwindled, so did the sheep population on the land. But even though the sheep left, the land remained.


While growing up, Allison would go up to the Sheepherd {a hop, skip, and a jump from Evanston, Wyoming} for an annual family reunion. Horses that had been out to pasture all year were rounded up for folks to ride; and if you’ve never ridden a *green* horse, you’ll never know what an experience that can be. Lunch consists of: fire cooked
>> find out more…

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Michal

This is Michal's profile description. This is were Michal tells you how awesome and wonderful he is. He's just one cool cat.

road trip.

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I just got my feet on the ground again after this excursion, and a follow-up trip not 24 hours later to Boston. I’m tired and feel upside down, but I want to hang out with my kids non-stop and I figure what better way to have some quality time than a road trip to Boise? I mean, really.


Tomorrow we head off to my family’s annual family reunion/Sheep Herd near Evanston, Wyoming on our way to Boise for a few days. Yes, my dad comes from a family of Sheep Herders, had his own horse by the time he was 3, and lived in a sheep camp growing up. This is what makes me such an well rounded person {wink}. Hanging out with Sheep Herders has made me as comfortable on a horse as I am in a big city.


We’ll be staying here for a few days in Boise and then I’ll be done with travel. For the *Summer* anyway. A big thanks to Country Inn for the trip. I’ll send fun updates as we go.


Have a great weekend!

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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!

blue sea lodge, san diego.

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After our marvelous adventures in Huntington Beach we headed to San Diego. I love all the jokes the movie Madagascar makes about San Diego. It really does seem like a surreal place, all gorgeousness and ocean and warm weather.

We stayed at the Blue Sea Lodge, which is another Pacifica Hotel like the Sandcastle Inn where we stayed in Pismo Beach. And just like the Sandcastle, the Blue Sea Lodge is right on the beach. So close to the beach in fact, the little surfer boys come use the hotel pool as a rinsing off spot after a day in the waves. I don’t blame them one bit. There’s nothing more tantalizing than hopping in a pool or hot tub while looking at the ocean, a favorite activity of mine on this trip.



After we landed in the hotel and unpacked the bags {the kids were hopping one foot to the other waiting to get out the door and onto the sand} we set out in search of food to eat on the beach for a sunset picnic. After some advice from twitter and yelp* we ended up getting take-out from a delicious, hole-in-the-wall, Mexican restaurant not a block
>> find out more…

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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!

hyatt resort huntington beach.

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We travel to Southern California on a regular basis and Huntington Beach is my absolute favorite. The actual beach, I mean. I went as a little kid with my family and have glowy, sunny, happy memories of watching professional surfers and thinking incredulously “they get paid to play in the ocean all day?”



Fast forward 20-some odd years {emphasis on the some odd} to my early days of marriage and motherhood. Ten or eleven years ago we started traveling as a family to Southern California every few months to see my doctor, and every single trip we make sure to spend at least a morning or afternoon next to the pier watching surfers and collecting sea glass at Huntington Beach. At some point I realized there was a stunning hotel on the beach that *if I were to someday come into some money* would be the first stop on my world tour.

The place is magical. Right on the beach, white and full of grandeur, with its own private walkway across PCH to the sand. Come on, it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s one of those places that beckons to you as you drive >> find out more…

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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!