Keep Your Kids Healthy During The Summertime

It’s really easy to end up having kids on the couch, inside all summer long, watching TV and playing video games. It’s too hot out, kids are bored, moms need a break. But it’s not a whole lot of work to get kids active and busy outside, if you plan ahead.

Every summer I make some fun summer bags for my two kids. I call them their ‘Welcome to Summer’ bags, filled to the brim with enough outdoor activities + toys to keep them busy all summer long. Outside.

I fill the bags with sidewalk chalk, beach balls, kits to make S’mores, squirt guns, water balloons, you name it. The kids look forward to it all year long, and it makes the transition into summer easier. It also sets the tone for the kind of summer we’ll have: a busy one!

Here are my top 3 ways to get and keep kids active, all summer long.

  1. Set the stage (make a summer bag!)
  2. Sign up for stuff!
  3. Plan ahead. Make a summer bucket list.

#1: To set the stage for an active summer, set expectations for your kids. Let them know the plans you’re making, tell them the kind … >> 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!

Easy Summer Activity Book DIY

Kids Summer Activity Book

This Summer activity book DIY might save my sanity for the next 9 weeks. I’m not really kidding. The month of May was so insanely over-scheduled and hectic  it seemed the last day of school would never arrive. Then WHAM! The kids are home and it’s head first into swim team and t-ball and worrying about the infamous “Summer Slide”. It’s a thing, the “Summer Slide”, the thing where kids lose some of their academic skills over the summer. Turns out it’s legit–according to my resident expert and professional educator who happens to be my husband. The good news is a little bit of reading and writing over the summer can kick it to the curb.

So, school ended in a flury and frenzy and I realized I needed to come up with a strategy for keeping their brains busy and strong, not to mention keeping their mouths quite and bodies still for a precious few minutes. And I had to do it quick. Really quick. That’s how this no-frills, easy Summer activity book DIY was born. Or, rather, printed off, hole punched, and thrown in a binder. Made almost entirely of stuff I had on hand or could quickly … >> find out more...

Kimberly

...by day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.

Some Ideas To Help You Celebrate The 4th Of July

4th of july fireworks fireworks

4th of July, 4th of July!  You know there’s nothing better than a summer holiday, right?  For me, it’s the 4th of July.  It’s my favorite holiday, hands down.  The weather is gorgeous and hot, the pavement is baking, kids sit on the sidewalk eating dripping Popcicles, and fireworks end the day.  It’s the most fun of the whole year, and that’s saying something.

 

family

I make my famous American flag cake.  We sometimes run a 4th of July 5k and watch the early morning hot air balloons.  There’s a parade in Provo, and we never miss it.  There are afternoon naps, BBQ’s and frosty cold caffeinated beverages abound.

cute babies

Cousins, adorable cousins come from near and far.

fun with cousins

Sometimes there’s a baby or two, on a good year.

fun with cousins

There’s grilled corn on the cob, and squirt gun fights and sparklers and a table full of desserts.  There just isn’t a better holiday than the 4th of July.

I have a couple of favorite recipes for you, so you can whip up something red, white & blue for your own celebrations.

4th of july jell-o

A yummy 4th of July dessert recipe made with the most American of ingredients: whipped cream + Jell-O.  An American Flag … >> 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!

Summer Fun Under The Stars

destination summer tank top skinny-jeans

Summer is fun, isn’t it?  Seriously, summer is my saving grace during the long, cold Utah winters.  Sometimes I go weeks at a time during a freezing, slushy March just dreaming about the summer, when all things are possible.  Summer in Utah really makes up for the miserable winters, and we spend summers swimming, barbecuing, camping, horseback riding, hiking and playing in the mountains, kayaking, and hanging out on the back yard deck.

I’m super excited to be partnering with Kohl’s #DestinationSummer to share some fun summertime ideas in Utah, because you should definitely visit.  Utah is absolutely amazing, especially in the summer.  We got all dressed up for this fun summertime idea, and you’ll understand why below.

button down

This summer we’re not traveling like we usually do, we’re staying close to home to have our fun since my baby girl is still sick after 3 months of non-stop vomiting.  No big deal though, because Utah rules summer.

mens fashion mens style

In fact, spending time under the stars is the best way to experience Utah in the summer.  The days are hot and dry, and the nights are perfect and cool, just right for movies + symphonies under the stars, which is exactly … >> 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!

Sexy And Totally Comfortable Shoes For Women

Wedge Booties

Sexy, comfortable shoes?  Total oxymoron.  Usually.  But Brian James, a relatively new shoe company defies the un-sexy odds of comfortable, day-to-day staple shoes by making some seriously hot shoes for women.

summer sanda;s

Brian James is a shoe company started in 2012 by Angela Edgeworth, founder of the adorable children’s footwear line, pediped.  Angela named the new shoe company for women after her husband Brian James (so cute!) because aside from her love for her two daughters and her shoe collection (OBVS), her husband Brian is her favorite.

wedge pumps

Now, let’s talk about the shoes.  Last summer I was gifted a pair of Brian James sandals.  I was in the middle of hosting a party for 350 women in Chicago, in July.  It was hot, I was tired and my feet swollen, and I’d just walked 5 blocks in the heat and humidity before I put my new sandals on.  I’m always skeptical when it comes to new shoes, especially when my feet don’t feel awesome, and I’m here to tell you, WHOA.  These shoes, you guys!  So comfortable.

I’m a total shoe wimp.  My feet can only handle certain kinds of shoes, and I really won’t suffer for fashion.  I’m too … >> 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!

Summer Nail Colors

Summer Nail Colors

One thing I love about Summer is a bright shiny manicure or pedicure. I just can’t stay away from all the shades of pink and orange and colors inspired by cotton candy and ice pops. Aren’t they so pretty lined up there all nice? Let’s talk summer nail colors in pastel, pink, and orange.

Pastels

pastel summer nail colors

Sometimes it’s fun to rock something out of the ordinary  like these colors from Joe Fresh that make me think of summer treats like sherbet and cotton candy.  JC Penney carries this line but I couldn’t find them online, you might have to check it out in store.  Pastels are fun and very on trend right now, and a fun manicure is an ideal way to play with a trend.

Orange is the new black

orange summer nail color

I love the color orange. I think Elle was wrong when she said “whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed!” It’s a beautiful color and a really fun bright for summer.  The middle one, from Wet n Wild is about a dollar or so at Target and it lasts forever! Don’t underestimate a bargain brand.  The Revlon is a very true orange which probably works all year … >> 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.

Summer Vacation Photography Tips

Summer Vacation Photography Tips

Ah, Summer vacation. It’s like an oasis from the long school grind. It’s something that everyone looks forward to which is why all the memory making from this very important event must be documented. Here’s a few Summer vacation photography tips that I’ve found helpful as I’ve learned to capture the memories but still enjoy the moments.

1. Capture the small moments that spark an emotion. When we drove from Texas to California, our car was packed down. I knew we would forget how crazy it was unless I took a photo. Same was true when we pulled into our driveway after a haul to Utah and back and we looked at the speedometer…3399.9 miles. Small moments but they’re fun to remember years down the road.

2. Let your child get behind the lens. I love seeing things from their perspective. While camping in Moab, I gave the camera to my son. Not only did he love it and capture some great shots but, it was also a memory in itself! As far as photography tips, this one might be my favorite.

Summer Vacation Photography Tips

3. Don’t get too focused on capturing the perfect shots that you’re not present. As a photographer, this … >> 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.

Fabulously Simple Ice Cream Sandwich Cake Recipe

Ice Cream Sandwich CakeIf you need an easy dessert for any sort of gathering this summer, look no further than this simple, extremely tasty ice cream sandwich cake. A mountainous slab of ice cream sandwiches covered in soft, snowy white caps of whipped cream. Henceforth known to my family as The Matterhorn Cake. It’s not vegan or paleo or clean or in any way healthy, and requires zero baking, and can be made a day or two in advance. Yes to all of those things, thank you very much.

My husband is a Cache Valley, UT native and a Fat Boy Ice Cream sandwich, made in his hometown, is a beloved treat. It’s the only ice cream sandwich worth eating, he maintains. Thus, the foundation for this dessert, a mountain of totally worth-it calories. Awesome, just like the real Matterhorn in Switzerland. Or the one at Disneyland. Whichever. But you can truly use any kind of ice cream sandwich you prefer.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

You will need:

12 Fat Boy Ice Cream sandwiches (or your favorite)

1/2 jar of your favorite caramel sauce (or about 2/3 cup homemade)

1/2 jar of your favorite hot fudge sauce (or about 2/3 cup homemade)

1 pint whipping cream + … >> find out more...

Kimberly

...by day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.

How To Make Your Very Own BB Cream

DIY BB cream

What’s BB Cream?  Why do I need to know about it?  What does it do?  Who am I? How did I end up here?  Who are you?

Sorry.  We’re not going to get into an existential discussion today, we’re just here to talk about makeup.  Which is what BB cream is: makeup.  For your face.  That’s usually where makeup goes, on your face.  (ignore me.  it’s a rainy day over here, I’m all sorts of confused about life)

Let’s talk about WHAT BB Cream is, how to wear it, and FINALLY how to make this aforementioned BB Cream.

tinted moisturizer

What on earth is BB Cream?  Well, it’s basically tinted moisturizer, only more.  BB stands for blemish balm.  Blemish balm moisturizes your skin while covering up +/or disguising your blemishes.  But it’s lighter than foundation so if you, like me, don’t love the feeling of foundation on your face, BB Cream might become your new best friend.

BB Cream is a super simple combination of your favorite moisturizer (with SPF, I hope!) and your favorite foundation.  Together they make magic.

I use Oil of Olay because my skin is sensitive and it has a bit of SPF in it.  Add foundation, … >> 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!