Category: Travel

timpanogos storytelling festival


In large part because of my mother, my earliest memories include books. I was immersed in books from the word go. Three of my four sisters are/were librarians. I was a librarian in college, but that’s a story for another day. My sister-in-law is a master librarian. In fact almost every memory I have has a book memory associated with it. Do you know what I mean by that?



This summer while driving down the coast of California for nearly a month, I was pretty stressed. I was planning SocialLuxe on the road, managing a three week family road trip, and making sure the cat was fed and the lawn watered at home. My coping mechanism for stress is to read really great escapist literature. This is why I have an addiction to various fashion magazines and light novels such as those written by Meg Cabot. Meg, can you hear me? Iloveyou. She’s one of those people I’ll stalk until we’re besties.

I read every single one of Meg’s books while we drove down the coast. It’s a good thing she writes as fast as she does or I might have been out of distraction reading. 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!

blogher 2009, chicago i love you.

I’ve been sitting on this BlogHer post for several weeks because it’s taken me that much time to wrap my head around it. I’m still sifting and mulling in my brain, but it’s time to show you some photos.

Of course at first there was the SocialLuxe kick-off party, which was fabulous. Worth the last 5 months of my life I spent working on it.

When SocialLuxe was finished I was off to the races!

This was my first time to Chicago, and like every other city I visit I wish I’d had more time to wander around and get to know the city better. It’s beautiful. The architecture of all the buildings downtown is stunning. The buzz in the air is electric. The Sheraton was beautiful, the beds divine. I wanted to marry my bed, seriously. A big, huge, fat THANK YOU to Brand About Town for the ticket to BlogHer and the hotel room. I never win anything in my life, and I can’t believe I won admittance and a hotel for the conference. It was fate.

I accosted Pioneer Woman, Marlboro Man, and her adorable kiddos in the lobby. Marlboro Man is much taller >> 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!

places to travel before I die.

Today I’m feeling all kinds of retrospective.  Perhaps it’s because Precocious is back in school and the house is a little more quiet; I have a few minutes to myself here and there to reflect on things.  Like life.  And how happy I am in mine.  How lucky I am to be doing what I love.  To have the wonderful friendships I have.

I don’t want to wax too nostalgic, I’ve already cried once this morning and Charming doesn’t know what to do with me.

I’ll leave it at this though, I just found a list I’d tucked away in a book of places I want to travel before I die. I made it when Precocious was a brand new baby.   I was in school full-time, and we were living with my parents. I never thought I’d get above ground, never mind across the world. So here’s my travel list, and one of my favorite quotes.

“In spite of illness, in spite even of the

archenemy of sorrow, one can remain alive long

past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid

of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity,

interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”

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!

Car Seat Safety

Little O is not so little. At his 6 month checkup, he weighed 21 lbs and measured 28.5 inches tall. It was confirmation to me that he had reached the end of his infant carrier car seat days. (Our model went up to 20 lbs and 29 inches). While I’m happy about not having to lug around a 21-lb baby in a car seat anymore, I’m also sad about the fact that I’ll now have to buckle in and remove my baby from the car every time, and carry him places without a convenient place for him to continue his car naps.

Because we drive a little Honda Civic, Mike and I opted for the Britax roundabout convertible model, which came highly rated for safety. We got it in the mail week and once I removed it from the box, I realized that I absolutely did not want to install the sucker myself. I really hate trying to follow instructions from a manual, and since 7 out of 10 car seats are improperly installed, chances were I would do it wrong anyway.


So I found out where my nearest child car seat inspection center was and made an appointment. I … >> find out more...

Alma

blogher before, and after.


This was me and
Marie heading to BlogHer. We got up to leave from Salt Lake City at 4 a.m. and we thought we were so tired on the way there. I mean we were tired.

Just not this tired:


I look slightly hysterical.

It’s like going into parenthood. You have no idea what you’re in for, you’re just excited. And by day 14 of no sleep, you can’t believe you’re still standing.

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!

SocialLuxe Lounge 2009.


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...

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.


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...

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.

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...

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.


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...

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!