Cutest customizable holiday cards ever

 

custom christmas cards

Guys, the holidays are officially almost upon us.  And for whatever reason (just a guess – mom guilt?) at Christmas time, I get super Type-A obsessive about making sure my holiday cards are finished early and mailed out before the serious crazy sets in.  Life is insane during the holidays, and I really prefer to do tiny little things all year long in anticipation of December being the worst month of my life, in the history of ever.

christmas cards

ALL OF THE THINGS happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, and for some reason having my holiday cards done ahead of the choir, orchestra, and drama performances, not to mention the swim meets and candy-cane-read-a-thons and all of the homework the world has ever known, well, it makes me feel like a better human.  It just does.  That way I can sit back and smugly relax and enjoy the holiday panic about everything else that needs to be done immediately, if not sooner.

This year I really do have reason to feel all extra celebratory, because it’s not even Halloween yet and my holiday cards are D-O-N-E.

Let’s talk about that for a second.

cute customized holiday cards

Thankfully, even though … >> 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!

Healthy pumpkin chocolate chunk energy bites

 

Energy bites with chocolate + pumpkin?  Welcome to Tuesday.  I know! Stop it.  They’re healthy too!

healthy chocoloate chunk energy bites

 

I need confess something: I really like candy.  I try to eat healthy 90% of the time, and the other 10% is my sweet tooth getting the better of me. This time of year puts me into full split personality mode. I love healthy, hearty soups and stews and leafy greens. But the flip-side? Gimme the candy. I know I’m not the only one raiding my kids’ Halloween buckets for the Snickers. And Reese’s. And Butterfingers. And anything with chocolate, nuts, nougat, or caramel.

 

pumpkin chocolate chunk energy bites - balls

 

But hey, I made some delicious Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites which are now stowed away in my freezer for when that morning (afternoon and evening) sugar craving hits and I have to have something sweet. Preferably that includes chocolate, which these bites do. With these, I’m not going to feel guilty for having three or four at one time. No. They’re loaded with healthy, satisfying things like sunflower butter, pumpkin puree, oats, dates and pumpkin pie spice for a quick hit of energy.

Did I mention chocolate chunks?  Yeah, that’s my >> find out more...

Lindsey Johnson

Lindsey Johnson can usually be found in one of three places--the kitchen (cooking and washing dishes), behind her camera, or at her laptop editing photos and writing. If she's not in any of those places, chances are she's chasing after her three crazy kids or scoring a great find at the thrift store. She writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia and lives near the beautiful mountains in Utah with the aforementioned three crazy kids and one great husband.

Stylish outfit for Fall weather

The weather in my hood is ch-ch-changing pretty fast from late Summer gorgeous to super brisk 30 degree Fall mornings.  This weather is a good thing because, you guys, booooooooots.  Boots.  Do they make you feel as happy as they make me?  I mean, a good pair of boots can make a bad outfit good and a perfect outfit outstanding.

 

Fall boots are totally a thing.

Stylish outfit for Fall weather
What should you wear then, once the weather starts chilling off?  The answer is obviously whatever you want, but I have an stylish cold-weather Fall outfit option for you just in case.

 

It’s all about layering, just FYI.

 

Start off with a good base.  A comfortable tank top and some skinny jeans or corduroy pants are perfect under the sexy business you’re going to layer on top.  The thing about Fall weather is that you can be freezing in the morning and start to get a little toasty in the afternoon, so layering gives you options, and options are awesome.

 

The next layer is the cute stuff.  The cute star blouse and gold unity scarf go on top (obvs) and the gorgeous high heeled boots go on bottom (double
>> 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!

Friday news round-up + being weird is cool

News time!

I haven’t done a Friday news round-up for a long, long time.  Mostly because I’m distract-able and life is distracting.  Something along those lines, but I refuse to commit to a solid reason because I don’t really have one.

*ahem*

In other news, it’s Friday news round-up time!  It’s probably been longer than I care to admit so I’ll remind you about what this entails:  me including links of news-y stuff you might have missed on the internet and want to read because the internet is made of magic.

twinings tea
  • Let’s get started with shirtless / never-nude / almost nude photos of David Beckham swinging on London rooftops.  Don’t ask why.  All I know is I love the Fug girls more than life itself and photos of David Beckham almost as much.
  • I write a weekly Babble Voices column, about anything and everything.  This week I wrote about how Being weird is cool, especially when you’re a girl and hear all sorts of mixed messages in your life about how to be / look / act / dress.
  • Tomorrow I leave to go spend time with some of my favorite women at a photography retreat in
>> 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

Natural home made wood polish

You want home made wood polish?  I’ve got your home made wood polish.

I’m your best friend like that.

home made wood polish

A little while ago I needed to have the kids clean the wood floors and dust the wood furniture, (I’m a mean mom) only to discover we were totally out of wood cleaner / wood polish.  I’m no Becky Home-Ec-y, sometimes we run out of cleaning products and it takes me months to notice.

Shut up, I’m busy.

Anyway, two things happened at once that day: I didn’t have time to go buy some new wood polish at the store (see above re: busy) and I realized before Lemon Pledge people were dusting and polishing their wood all by themselves with ingredients from home.  So I decided I’d try making some home made wood polish, and I’ll tell you what: I liked it much better than the store bought stuff.  I think I’ll be the kids will be making natural home made wood polish from here on out.

It’s easy.  Let me show you how it’s done.

home made wood polish

Ingredients for Natural Home Made Wood Polish

(not to be confused with natural home made POLISH people, although I’m good at making >> 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!

Playlist you should be listening to today

It’s playlist time.  Well, for me it’s always playlist time, but right now it’s time to listen to a little Fall something, something.  And since I’m currently listening to a great playlist I made on Spotify, I thought I’d share what I’m loving right now.  P.S. if you aren’t already on Spotify, go sign up right now.  My dear friend Jane Maynard made me do it (I’ve been listening to Pandora for years) and I can’t tell you how much I love it.  The basic version is free! (for the fellow cheapies like myself), and  I can make playlists and listen to entire albums on demand.  I can’t get enough Spotify in my life.  Thanks Janey!

sound track

Maybe you’ll love this playlist, maybe you won’t.  Hopefully you hear something new and interesting, and at the very least if you listen to different stuff, the neurons in your brain will fire like crazy and connect to all sorts of new neurons, and boom, you’re already smarter for having read this.

There literally are only about 2 genres of music I hate:  Western (very twang-y) and death metal.  I love everything else.  Every type of music has a mood, and 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!

My family is horrible when taking photos

My family is the worst.  Seriously, I love my kids but sometimes they’re just horrible.

Almost a year ago I scheduled family photos for August with the world-renowned husband and wife photography team Wendy and Tyler Whitacre from Blue Lily.  I prepped my kids a year in advance by promising to lock them out in the cold if they messed up the photo shoot.  Every couple of months over the year I’d threaten remind them about the deal and how they were going to behave during said family photos.

We’ll be good‘ they said,

We’ll behave‘ they said.

brother and sister

If there’s anything I know by now, it’s that kids are liars.  Little liars from liar-town.  They know how to lie professionally.  They could work for top level secret service organizations in the lie department.

Is that what it takes to survive being in a family?

little boy

Does this little man look like he’s behaving?

No.  No he is not.

my husband

What about this guy?

He wasn’t (as) bad this time around, but there must be some old Russian / Polish folklore about the camera stealing your soul if you smile for a family picture.  Otherwise there’s … >> 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!

Grocery shopping in a foreign town – France

grocery shopping in a foreign town

 

France.  It’s okay I guess.  If you happen to like gorgeous countryside, cold sparkling water, French men (that’s a whole post in and of itself, short story: they’re hot), cheese, delicious bread and shopping of any variety.  Oh, and the south of France is the WORST.  So boring and perfectly sunny with warm wave-less ocean and blue skies forever.

 

sea food vendor

 

Basically France and Spain were a wonderland.  Plural.  It’s a thing.

cote d'azur

A few months ago I went on a whirlwind 2 week trip to France and Spain with one of my very best friends, (BEST IDEA EVER) and when I came back I was so exhausted from the amazing happiness of it all, I basically took the entire summer off to dream about it by the pool.

I did manage to post about what to do on the French Riviera should you ever find yourself in Antibes, Cannes or Nice and are out of ideas (you shouldn’t be).

The short version is that France and Spain are beautiful and fun and lovely in every possible way.  The long version will be laid out in a whole bunch of future posts, starting with this one.  So let’s get … >> 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!

Birthday give away from me to you

birthday It’s my birthday! Well, it was yesterday.  I was so busy playing with friends and family I didn’t get around to writing a post, but I guarantee I’d share a piece of my red velvet birthday cake (cream cheese frosting on top) with each and every one of you given the chance. It’s sort of too late though, because early this morning dressed in my bathrobe I crammed the last bits of cake into my mouth, both elbows leaning on the counter with a fork in hand. Cream cheese frosting is no joke. I love you too much to leave you empty handed though, and today’s post is a birthday give away from me to you. Comment #37  Rachel R.  is the birthday giveaway winner!  Send us an email Steph so we can send a package your way! party favor I turned 36 yesterday, so in keeping with the theme of getting one year closer to 40 (eep!) I put together a package of all my favorite things to send to one of you. 36 of them anyway. I’m pretty disappointed I can’t ship my steam shower, an ice cold Pellegrino, and a slushy Diet Dr Pepper your way.  You’ll … >> 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!