What The Eff + How Are You?

Eff, it’s been a hard year for me.  EFF.  Like, the hardest year since ever.  How about you? You hanging?  I’m taking this Fall one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, sometimes even one half hour at a time.

But I don’t want to get off to a bad start on this post, so let’s start off by watching Jimmy Fallon and will.i.am break it down in the best video to hit 2014 Ew, ew!

I love Jimmy Fallon, for realsies.  The man can do no wrong, and he’s a constant spotlight of happy in my nighttime routine.  His SHOW I mean, his show.  Jeez!

what the eff and how are you?I haven’t been updating Petit Elefant a whole lot lately, and I don’t want you to think I’ve abandoned you altogether.  I really haven’t.  In fact, I spend my days composing blog posts in my head while I go about my life.  I have a lot of things to say to you guys, but I can’t get them out of my head and onto the page.  I’m paralyzed with fear and sadness, leftover emotions from this hard, hard, horrible year I’m in the middle of living.… >> 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!

The Thousand Islands Gananoque, Canada

The Thousand Islands Gananoque, Canada

The Thousand Islands isn’t just a salad dressing after all. It’s a real, and really lovely, place well worth a visit. For our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband and I went to a cute little bed and breakfast in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada which hosts part of the 37 km stretch of the Thousand Islands Parkway. Along the American-Canadian border is a stretch of over 1800 islands in the St. Lawrence River as it emerges from Lake Ontario. 1800 islands!

We enjoyed a 2 1/2 hour boat ride along the Thousand Islands. It was easy to spot which side was the American side and which side was the Canadian side because of the flags being flown!

The Thousand Islands Gananoque, Canada

I loved seeing Boldt Castle, home to George C. Boldt who was general manager of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Looking at that castle, I think he did well for himself!

The Thousand Islands Gananoque, Canada

The boat tour was great for learning a little history. Did you know that Thousand Island salad dressing was named after this part of the world?

I think the most fun we had on our little getaway was biking the Thousand Island Parkway. While my husband and I both enjoy biking, we … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

What is YOUR Pursuit of Happiness?

Happiness seems to be a buzzword recently, and by recently I mean always.  What makes a person happy?  What is true happiness, as opposed to temporary fun and how does one get from the day-to-day happiness of our lives to something more longstanding and ultimately more fulfilling?

Pursuit of HappinessIs this something you think about?  I think about it all the time.  In fact, you could pretty much make the argument that any bucket list, or Life List in my case, is the ultimate pursuit of happiness.  The need to be more, make more, have something better at the end of life.

bucket list I think when I take a deep look inside, my pursuit of happiness is all wrapped up in whether or not, when it’s said and done, I’ve done something worthwhile on this earth, if I’ve made any difference to anyone, anywhere.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

A guy named Chris Guillebeau turned this whole idea on its head with his new book, ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’ (follow Chris on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram).  We’ve all heard the term: The Pursuit of Happiness, yes?  Guillebeau takes a different approach, wondering instead about the happiness in the … >> 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!

Laundry Room Make-Over Photos After

bathroom makeoverThe laundry room project we’ve been working on for the last month is finished, and it actually turned out really well, with not too many materials.  I’m really pleased with how it all looks now that it’s put back together.

laundry-roomWe’re still working on the tile in the next room as we’re trying to figure out what to do with the pseudo bathroom + toilet.  Should it stay or should it go?

subway-tileThe actual laundry room part is gorgeous though.  I love the look of the subway tile with the wood grain tiles, just like we did in our master bathroom.  It’s such a crisp, clean look. The paint color we chose is, yet again, aqua in an effort to transport us from the middle of Utah to somewhere in The Caribbean.

It sort of works.

I love the color we chose.  It’s cool and calm and a pretty contrast to the warmth of the wood tiles, and it works with the royal blue washer and dryer.

We didn’t need a lot of supplies for this project.  Our main objective was to update and clean up the look of the laundry room, and to help tie it together with … >> 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!

Awesome FREE Things To Do In London

FREE Things To Do In London

Free is always great, right? Especially when it comes to FREE things to do in LONDON! In my London travels, I’ve always appreciated the free things there are to do in a city where my dollar doesn’t go as far as I’d like. If you’re looking to have a fun time AND save a buck, then please enjoy these suggestions!

1. Visit a museum. London has some of the best museums. My favorite is The British Museum. It was even fun for my kids! It houses the Rosetta Stone and real live mummies as well as so much more! If you’re looking for educational, the Science Museum and Natural History Museum are also great. If you’re looking for art, try the V&A.

2. Go geocaching. The last time we were in London, we tried this geocaching thing that I’d heard so much about. We were newbies at it doing it in a city that we didn’t know super well. It’s such a great way to explore! For those of you who don’t know what geocaching is, it’s basically like a huge online hide-and-go-seek scavenger hunt. People hide little caches, literally, all over the world and you find them … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Office Wear / Fall Fashion For The Ladies

Office wear is a tricky thing sometimes for the ladies.  For dudes it’s pretty straight forward:  if you are a dude and you work in an office you’re either wearing a suit or business attire of some sort.  Nice shoes are involved, black socks (hopefully, not white and athletic), button up shirts with a tie and maybe a cardigan or a jacket.  For the ladies?  Well.  Office wear is all over the place, totally dependent on where you work, and how many mean girls there are in your office.
I’m only sort of joking.
Office Style Fall 2014

Suffice it to say, there are a lot of options for office wear, none of them including a see through top and a black polka dotted Madonna bra.  Or flip flops and a greasy top knot.

One *appropriate* option this Fall, and a gorgeous one at that, is a dressed up version of harem pants with heels and a classy blouse on top.  If you use the right accessories you’ll look dressed up to hit the morning meeting even though you’re essentially wearing fancy pajamas.  EVERYONE wins.  Even your cranky boss.

‘How does one wear sassy office wear’, you ask?  Easy peasy.  Throw something like this … >> 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!

What to Wear for Family Photos (Plus Size edition)

WhatToWearForFamilyPhotos

Photo courtesy of Blue Lily Photo

It’s fall! Once all the school supplies have been purchased and my kids are back in school I start to think about our yearly family photos. As a photographer, I often get asked for recommendations on what to wear in family photos. What I’m about to share with you applies not only to plus sized women, but to everyone!

The first rule for deciding what to wear for family photos is to be comfortable. If you’re wearing something that’s a little more formal, or unusual for you it will show in the photos. So, more than anything, be yourself! Choose pieces that fit well and make you happy!

Second, go for color! Bold colors, especially jewel tones, make photographs “pop”. If you’re not comfortable in jewel tones try using a scarf, sweater or jacket to provide the splash of color that will draw your eye to the finished product.

Finally, many people worry about coordinating outfits for the entire family. The good news is that matchy-matchy photos are out! Choose one outfit you love to wear, and get the others to coordinate with them. The colors don’t have to be the same,

>> find out more...

Carrie

Hello everyone, I’m Carrie. I’m a family photographer, and a mom of three elementary school kids. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Oregon, but I’ve lived on the east coast for the last eight years. I love exploring new places, baking, volunteering at my kids’ school, and reading. You can check out my other work at Cabesh Photography.

Laundry Room Make-Over Photos Before

laundry-room

My laundry room has been kind of a train wreck since we bought our home, 11 years ago.  It feels like it was an add-on to the house, without a whole lot of thought going into the actual function of said laundry room, and we’ve pretty much hated it the entire time we’ve lived here.

We’ve talked about tearing out walls and moving the whole thing to the garage, but in the end it just sits next to the family room, the object of our loathing  and the butt of all the jokes at the dinner table.

I do, in fact, realize this is a first world problem, don’t get me wrong. I understand there are far bigger issues in the world than whether or not I’m able to fit a laundry basket next to the washer and dryer I’m lucky to have, in my home.  I get it.  But let’s for a minute focus on my own selfishness in wanting a functional laundry room.

front-loading-washer

A perfect example of the weird non-function of my laundry room is the weird sink shoved in-between the washer and a modesty wall shielding an afterthought of a toilet.  The sink, maybe 8 inches across … >> 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!

Tips For Foreigners Visiting London

Tips for Visiting LondonIf you are looking for tips for visiting London, you’ve come to the right place. You might call me a pro on traveling to London. (This is the part where I blow on my fingers and dust them off on my shirt.) Well, maybe not a pro, but I’ve definitely done a fair share of travel through this fascinating city. I’ve learned a few things along the way, so, in the spirit of helpfulness, I want to pass along a few tips for foreigners visiting London.

1. Bring an umbrella. Hum a little Mary Poppins during your packing madness, and pack an umbrella in your suitcase. I’ve been to London during different seasons, and it’s always rained at least a couple of days during my stay. Trust me. You will use it.

2. Avoid the Heathrow Express Train. As soon as you come out of customs, people are there trying to sell you a ticket into London. For the newbie traveler, you might think that’s the only way to get to the city. It’s not. The Heathrow Express Train is the fastest way, but it also costs about three times more. Go via London’s Underground rail system. It … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.