Outlander Will Be Your New Show

My new favorite show for late Summer (and Fall) is officially Outlander. Have you heard the buzz about the widely adored book Outlander being turned into a series? If you haven’t, I’m here for you. I’ve scouted this one out, and by the end, you will be salivating to see the new series.

I was introduced to the Outlander books (there are several, beginning with Outlander) a handful of years ago, by multiple friends. I was down and out with a black eye and separated shoulder after a bad fall while skiing over Christmas, in bed for the rest of the holiday break, and in desperate need of something to read. So I asked for recommendations on the Petit Elefant Facebook page, (thank you to everyone who answers my questions over there!) and was inundated with great book ideas. The one book series that was recommended over and over again was a series called Outlander, written by Diana Gabaldon. I’d never heard of the series, but I had time on my hands, so I went to the library and checked out the first book.

The books are approximately a billion and a half pages each, but the writing is so … >> 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!

Pro Tips for Taking Photos of Kids

My kids are the focus of most of my day-to-day photos, whether I’m just using the camera on my phone, or pulling out my big girl camera.  And would you like to learn something interesting about kids?

They can be very hard to photograph.

photography tipsTake my daughter for example, she’s old enough to know what I want when I’m taking a photo of her, but I usually end up with 10-15 of these before I get 1 “normal” shot.

family photosIt’s hard for me to capture the spontaneous moments of my kids on camera, and I was under the impression that having children pose for the photo you were just trying to grab spontaneously, but didn’t get your cell phone out of your purse/pocket/car fast enough.

taking photos of kids

Me Ra says it’s cool to re-position your kids to have them re-create the magical moment you were striving for in the first place.  Probably neither you nor your children will remember that you took several pictures until you got the right one.

photographing kids

Me Ra shares all sorts of pro tips like that in this book.  Stuff for those of us who need help with settings so we can capture the spontaneous, and tips about … >> 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!

Hosting An Art Party For Kids

This post is sponsored by Target. More Turtles, More Bold and Daring Fun: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Target.

art party for kidsArt is a part of my daily life.  It just is.  Remember how I told you my son’s life passions all lead back to art?  Art, art projects, new ideas, and collections of a random assortment of feathers and rocks and random paraphernalia for new collaborations make their way into my house every single day.  So I thought it would be fun to throw an art party for some kids, friends of my son, to celebrate some of his favorite artists. We held our party mid-summer, but this turned out so fun it would also be great for a birthday or end-of-summer bash.

We looked to the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the artists they represent, for inspiration for our art party. Also, they lend some serious street cred to the event.  Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael, all artists of the Renaissance period in Europe.

I set up four different art stations so the kids could rotate through each one and try different techniques while learning a bit … >> 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!

How To Make the Most of a Disneyland Weekend

How to Make the Most of a Disneyland Weekend | Petit ElefantDisneyland is called the Happiest Place on Earth, and my family is not disagreeing.

After taking our very first trip to the West Coast park last summer, I’ve been back solo four times since, which translates to some pretty good tips to help you make the most of each visit.

And just as I did in my Walt Disney World post, I focused on basic ways you can make a long weekend at the parks that much more pixie dusted for your family. Bonus: Disneyland is a lot smaller than Walt Disney World, which means hitting a lot more attractions before the kids start getting tired.

How to Make the Most of a Disneyland Weekend | Petit ElefantDisneyland is always busy, making it a little tricky to figure out when the very best time to visit might be. That being said, the least busy times (it’ll still be crowded) are the first few weeks of December. The Christmas decorations are out and the general merriment in the air is awesome. Other “slower” times are usually when school is first back in session (excluding any school holidays or three-day weekends), early January, just before most schools start Spring Break, and almost any time mid-week (Tuesday-Thursday).

There are three themed hotels on property at Disneyland – Disney’s Grand … >> find out more...

Pilar

A native of Chile with deep Chicago roots, Pilar and geekdom have been mutually exclusive since tight-rolled jeans and slap bracelets were in fashion, making it rather fitting she married a Star Wars nerd, made two nerdlets, and became the world’s okayest mom. An award-winning writer, social media strategist, photographer and geeky pop culturalist, her commentary has appeared in and on some cool sites like Babble, CNN, Huffington Post, Yahoo and Fandango (where she's Contributing Editor of the Family Room).

DIY Facial Scrub With Natural Ingredients

I’ve got a great little DIY facial scrub for you today. Lately I’ve been seeking out more natural ways to care for my skin. I really love my cosmetics, but I also know that I taking care of my skin with good cleansing is an important part of any beauty regimen.  Gentle is always better when it comes to skin care, which is why I love this oil cleansing DIY facial scrub. It’s easy and your probably have these natural ingredients in your cupboard. If not, they’re easy to find at your local market.

DIY oil cleansing face scrubSo here is what you need:

  • 3 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp castor oil
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • couple drops of essential oils (optional but I used Lavender)
  • About 4 Vitamin E capsules or 2-3 drops of Vitamin E oil

All of these things are super great for your skin. They cleanse, moisturize and rejuvenate all in one. It’s awesome. All you really do is mix the oils together, add the baking soda, essential oil drops, and vitamin E.

DIY face scrubAfter you’ve mixed it all together and you’re ready to use it, here’s how I do it. Take some into your fingers and rub it all over your … >> find out more...

natalia

Natalia is a mom to two crazy boys and wife to one handsome dude. She lives in France part of the year where her husband plays professional basketball, but she hails from Southern California. The hubs was born & raised in Nassau, Bahamas, which makes them an intercultural, interracial family traveling the globe together since 2007. She loves to cook (but mostly eat), hang with her fam, be adventurous, & find ways to stay girlie in a house full of men. On her site you can find loads of hair tutorials, makeup ideas, & fashion tips for the everyday woman. She believes that beauty and fashion don't have to be intimidating and that every woman should learn to embrace her own beauty.

DIY Neon Wrapped Planters + Pots

Ready for DIY?  Let’s get it on.

DIY Neon Planters

Summer always makes me want to get my hands dirty and do some gardening. Herbs are my favorite things to plant because, well, I get to eat them. How nice is it to have basil in the backyard to sprinkle over yummy tomatoes all summer long?

DIY Planters with Neon Wrap

Planter pots can quickly get expensive if you buy them new. So check out thrift stores where you can find interesting sizes and shapes for great prices. I picked up this trio of pots for 50 cents each and gave them a DIY neon-wrapped makeover.

Planter DIY with neon string

DIY Neon Wrapped Planters + Pots Supplies:

  • Planters. Smaller ones are easier to work with but you can do this project with any size.
  • Neon string. I love this neon string that you find at hardware stores. The colors are so bright and happy! This project works with any kind of twine too.
  • Hot glue gun.
garden planters diy

Step 1:

Starting at the base of the pot, hot glue the string around the pot. Gluing all the way around gives you a good strong base for wrapping.

diy planter box

Step 2:

Start wrapping the string around the pot. There’s no need to hot glue every row … >> find out more...

Stephanie Gerber

Stephanie Gerber is a mother of 3 who writes for pretty mommies on a budget. She shares stylish and crafty adventures on her blog Henry Happened.

Easy Beach Sand Souvenir DIY

How To Make A Simple Keepsake with Sand From Your Beach Vacation | Petit ElefantYou want to make this beach sand souvenir for yourself. I know, because, well, if the amount of sand we shake out of our suitcases, vacuum out of the car and wash out of our hair every summer is any kind of indicator, then we are definitely a family of beachcombers.

And no matter whether we drive to a local lakeside beach or fly to a more far flung oceanside locale, our modus operandi is always the same: build sandcastles that never stay up, hunt for pretty shells/interesting rocks until sunset, and bring a little bit of beach sand home in a bucket.

It’s become a beloved family tradition, especially now that I figured out how to make beach sand keepsakes from our found treasures.

It takes less than 20 minutes to make a display-worthy beach sand souvenir that you’ll  enjoy year round, and all you need are measuring cups and a few empty jars with tight-fitting lids. Plus your beach sand and little shells, of course!

How To Make A Simple Keepsake with Sand From Your Beach Vacation | Petit ElefantMaking sure your jar is clean and dry, start by pouring sand that you’ve already sieved (to remove bits of driftwood and seaweed) into the bottom until it’s filled about halfway. Gently shake to make the sand level, then layer … >> find out more...

Pilar

A native of Chile with deep Chicago roots, Pilar and geekdom have been mutually exclusive since tight-rolled jeans and slap bracelets were in fashion, making it rather fitting she married a Star Wars nerd, made two nerdlets, and became the world’s okayest mom. An award-winning writer, social media strategist, photographer and geeky pop culturalist, her commentary has appeared in and on some cool sites like Babble, CNN, Huffington Post, Yahoo and Fandango (where she's Contributing Editor of the Family Room).

Simple Summer Makeup Look

simple summer makeupThe heat is on, but your makeup doesn’t have to look melted and heavy. A simple summer rmakeup look is all you need. It’s funny how the weather and seasons change the way we do our hair and makeup.  I guess it’s because the weather–heat, humidity, air conditioning–affects our wardrobes and skin and even our moods. I know I definitely change the way I do makeup during the summer, opting for lighter, brighter, more natural.  So today I thought it would be fun to share my simple summer make routine.

Simple Summer Makeup

Yep, you guys, that’s all you need! And it will be more than enough. In fact, you could even go with less by eliminating the BB Cream and just using the bronzer. Here’s what I use to get this simple summer makeup look:

  • Eye Liner – I am currently using an eye liner I got in my Julep box and I currently love it! Any brown eye liner you can just smudge into your lash line would be perfect.
  • Mascara – My favorite mascara, hands down, is this Voluminous by L’Oreal. I’ve tried the expensive stuff and the cheap stuff and it always comes back to
>> find out more...

natalia

Natalia is a mom to two crazy boys and wife to one handsome dude. She lives in France part of the year where her husband plays professional basketball, but she hails from Southern California. The hubs was born & raised in Nassau, Bahamas, which makes them an intercultural, interracial family traveling the globe together since 2007. She loves to cook (but mostly eat), hang with her fam, be adventurous, & find ways to stay girlie in a house full of men. On her site you can find loads of hair tutorials, makeup ideas, & fashion tips for the everyday woman. She believes that beauty and fashion don't have to be intimidating and that every woman should learn to embrace her own beauty.

Learning to Play with Your Lifes Passions

When did you know your life’s passion?  Is there something you loved, adored more than life itself, from the time you were a small child?  I think if we all went back to that place of loving something completely, with a passion we forgot we had, and made it our life’s vocation, we’d all be happier people.

Leonardo

TMNT – Leonardo

There’s something beautiful about stepping outside your current world to discover a new one.  I don’t think we do it often enough as adults, and we could all learn a little about passion from kids.  Everyone comes to this earth being really excellent at one thing, at least one thing, even if it takes some of us longer than others to figure it out.

TMNT - Michelangelo

TMNT – Michelangelo

If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about.  Kids show up on this earth hardwired to love certain things.  Maybe you remember what it felt like the first time you read a novel, or danced on a stage, or took a gorgeous photo, and how it transformed the way you moved about the world.

watercolorsMy oldest child, my daughter, has been obsessed with words from the get-go.  She started talking early, … >> 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!