Category: Travel

blue sea lodge, san diego.

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...

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.


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...

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 sneak peek.


This is just a complete mishmash of photos from Chicago last week. I’m still so tired I feel upside down, and my ankles are only now losing a little bit of swelling. Getting off the plane from Boston post BlogHer, they resembled play-doh. Put your finger in and it got stuck. Not pretty. So I’m resting and recuperating before I do a big post. Let me just say, I haven’t had that much fun since college. Scratch that, I haven’t had that much fun, ever.


I can’t even tell you how adorable Carson is in real life. A-dorable.


Bloggess? Ditto. I kissed her neck when I said goodbye. I need to learn to stop being so touchy, some people find it invasive.


Me, White Trash Mom, & Momfluential. These ladies had me laughing all night long at the Sparklecorn party.

Marie from Make & Takes? I think we were twins separated at birth, my soul sister. At the Nikon party.


Melissa from IS*LY and Alma Loveland {aka graphic designer from heaven}. Seriously, they got a little wild.

More to come. For now I’m putting my feet up.

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!

kelty family tent.

While Allison was away at BlogHer at the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge Party,my brother came up from California with his family and his family’s family. We have not had a trip together in quite some time so we decided that once he got here, we would go camping in nearby mountains. Together with our two children, my brother, his wife, their two children 3 and 1.5) and his mother-in-law we headed up into the bush.

Mother-in-law you ask? Well, she is the States for the summer visiting from Taiwan (ROC). Being that Taiwan has the world’s second largest population density and that she is from one of the main cities there, we figured that bivy sacks should stay in the garage, and that the wild should be tamed a bit. As far as my brother’s two small children are concerned; yeah its probably would be good if none of them were dragged off into the wild by wild dingos.

We decided to live it up, stay at a campground (vs. the typical campsite off the side of some back fire road), bring folding camp chairs, and bring a decent size tent. Here is where Kelty stepped in saved our hides: … >> find out more...

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.

Comments are off for this post

blogher, boston, and beyond.

BlogHer was a huge success. News outlets all over covered the story of the SocialLuxe Lounge, which was 100% better than I even dreamed it would be, and I knew it was going to be good. I can’t give the full report since I’m in a hotel room in Boston, Massachusetts hanging with a bunch of cool bloggers for a TJ Maxx event. Full details will follow. Here’s the recap for now:

SocialLuxe at BlogHer was a {huge} success. stop.
Met Ree, aka Pioneer Woman. Lovelier even in person. stop.

Now have cankles from all the walking, running, swag stuffing. stop.

Saw kids for approximately 10 hrs. before hopping on a plane again. Trying not to dwell on that fact. stop.

Am in an amazing hotel called the Fairmont in Boston. stop.

Had dinner with some fabulous ladies. stop.

Too exhausted for more. stop.
Will report upon arrival home. full stop.

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 Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles

If you ever wanted to see what it is like to live the life of the rich and/or famous without the Paparazzi and without reading about your latest exploits in the grocery checkout line go stay at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles. Only a short sprint from downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and all points in between, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza offers not only a central location to all points in the greater LA area, but also a view to die for.

As guest of The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, we had the opportunity to venture into the pool and live it up, and Allison got a chance to order her signature cliche drink, a Pina Colada, poolside.

Our room and accommodations were so magnificent that we did not want to leave our room at all. With plush beds, grand bathrooms, a living area, a view to die for, and a staff that was ever so wonderful, it is no wonder why some folks simply move into this Hyatt and make it their home. We spend a wonderful evening playing games in the room with the children and the next morning we had an exquisite breakfast … >> find out more...

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.

socialLuxe lounge venue update.


For those of you who aren’t going to BlogHer, just close your eyes and skip to the next post. I apologize in advance for the Public Service Announcement.

However, if you are attending BlogHer and you were planning to come to the SocialLuxe Lounge but you didn’t get on the guest list in time? Guess what? We moved to a bigger space so more of you can come! So many people wanted in for the hottest party of the year that we had to find a new spot. Seriously. As of rightnow the SocialLuxe Lounge 2009 will be held in the……wait for it…..

Regency Ballroom at the Hyatt



Just go and RSVP for SocialLuxe! Can’t wait to see you {and 10 of your closest friends} there!

>> 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!

Comments are off for this post

The Beverly Garland, Holiday Inn

Los Angeles is one of those places where you can spend a lifetime, and yet fail to see it all. Having been invited as guests of the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn, we were excited to have an opportunity to spend time in an area of Los Angeles that I have not been to in probably twenty years. The Beverly Garland Holiday Inn located in Studio City and the Hollywood buzz can be felt in the air. So close were we to the Hollywood action that the hotel offers a free shuttle to the Universal Studio City Walk. And of course when you are taking a photo on the red carpet, there is only one way to do it: and that is at full attention.

IMG_0751.JPG

Yup, that’s me trying my best to do my Drunken Eastern European Cage Fighter face while all along the little one next to me is trying really hard not to crack up. We spent a few hours at the City Walk, had supper and just hung around, but overall the children were itching to get back to the hotel to continue their “discussion” on who was to get the top bunk.

Top bunk? Hotel? Is … >> find out more...

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.

sandcastle inn at pismo beach, california.


As we drove down from Monterey to Pismo Beach, through Big Sur and Morrow Bay, it suddenly dawned on us how desolate and far removed we really were from the rest of the world. With ocean on the right and massive mountains on the left, we were destined to remain on the one small, skinny, and very windy right-of-way that civilization carved out and paved over; altogether noticing how with every slide and rock chute nature fought hard to reclaim the coast all to herself.

It was with great relief that when after a full day’s drive, when we rolled into Pismo Beach we were able to relax and unwind at the Sandcastle Inn. As guests of the Sandcastle Inn, we were greeted with the same thing that every other guest gets comped with while staying there: A magnificent view of the beach and ocean. It just cannot get better than this. You know you are staying at the right place when there is an outdoor shower to rinse the sand off of your feet before you come back inside.

As Allison soaked her bones in the only hot tub that I have … >> 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!