Pack for weeks in a carry on bag

how to pack for a long trip in a carry on

Having to pack before a trip, any trip regardless of how awesome, is the lamest.  I hate packing.  I loathe it, detest it, want to scream every time I do it, procrastinate until the very last minute, and in the end stay up until the wee hours of the morning of travel jamming stuff into every available corner of my suitcase.

But now, after traveling extensively over the past several years, I’m here to tell you I am now a packing ninja.  Let me repeat that, for those of you who know me and have traveled with me in the past:

I am (now) a NINJA, of the packing variety.

barcelona with luggage(You see these ancient, winding stairs, 4 flights up in our apartment in Barcelona?  Yep.  They were a breeze for my carry-on.  Not so much for my traveling bestie Rachael and her ugly American suitcase.)

Learning how to pack properly took me years to figure out, YEARS of trial and mostly error.  Since I’m OCD, the thought of coming home from a trip and tagging everything I didn’t use in my suitcase with a post-it note, writing down what I used, keeping a master pack list of useful stuff, then … >> 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!

Amazing potato salad recipe for BBQ season

potato salad recipe

High five! Potato salad recipe season is here (aka SUMMER!) and I’m betting you’re as excited as I am to get the grill fired up and spend your evenings outdoors. One of the most popular summer BBQ side dishes is potato salad. This potato salad recipe isn’t one that’s been handed down from my grandma or Great-Aunt Martha or anything.  It’s just a little something I’ve come up with that is full of goodies that just about everyone will love.  And by goodies, of course I’m talking about bacon, cheese, and Ranch dressing.  (Did your heart jump a little at the thought of that artery-clogging goodness?)

Potato salad recipe lovers, unite!

potato-salad-recipe-serving-bowl

Don’t worry, we’re dolling up this potato salad recipe a bit more, and taking it out for a spin on the BBQ circuit by adding some fresh lemon juice, herbs, and green onions.  I even went as far as making homemade mayonnaise.  (I know.)  Store-bought is just fine too.  Be sure to use good, thick bacon so it doesn’t disappear when you cook it.  You want to know that bacon is there in every single bite!

potato-salad-recipe-ingredients

And then there’s the shredded cheddar cheese.  Because why wouldn’t you … >> 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.

What I wish for my family

Family. 

Mine matters to me more than anything, period.  I’ve had the privilege of doing some really cool things in my life, but nothing compares to being at home with my people; my husband of 15 years, my incomparable baby girl (nearly 14) and my favorite little man (almost 9).  I’ll take a Saturday morning snuggling in bed with these three people over a Cannes red carpet premiere any day of the week, no contest.

I was put on this earth to be a mother to these two children, and I know it to be true more with each passing year.  Being a part of my own little Czarnecki family is a privilege day-in and day-out, 15 years into its establishment.

the wish of a mother

Becoming a parent was difficult for me and my body and as such I appreciate it far more than I would have without all the pain and struggle.  Because of my Lupus (stupid lupus!) getting pregnant is tricky, and staying pregnant is almost impossible.  If you’re a woman with Lupus and of childbearing age, and trying to get pregnant, odds are you’ve had dozens of miscarriages, you’ve nearly died trying to stay pregnant, or you’ve decided you … >> 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 top favorite iPhone photo apps

I’m really excited to share a guest post from a friend of mine, Alissa Circle from Rags to Stitches.  I roomed with Alissa recently at a social media conference in California and realized pretty quickly girlfriend has got some great photography skills.  Especially iPhone photography skills.  Her Instagram feed is full of gorgeous, so I’m super stoked to share this post all about the best iPhone photo apps to make your photos all pizazz-y and fabulous.  Enjoy!

top iPhone photo apps

I don’t know about you, but I have a daily love affair with Instagram. It’s the last thing I scroll through before I got to bed + the first think I check when I get up. Obsessed much? #idonthinkso I think the inventor of Instagram deserves a big open mouth kiss. Don’t you agree? You know you do, you’re secretly nodding your head in agreement. It’s ok. You know what I love more than Instagram? Pretty pictures on Instagram. With the advances in the iPhone camera, everything I’m about to show you can be done right from your camera phone.

I’m going to show you how to go from drab to fab using some awesome apps that you can download right … >> 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!

Master bathroom remodel part 3

This master bathroom remodel project has officially become epic.

Not epic as in: that wave was so epic!  Let’s paddle out for another one!

Epic like: this project is so epically dragged out somebody’s gonna get all face stabbed up in hurr.

master bathroom vanity I’ve always been honest with you guys, and I’m feeling especially honest today.  If this master bathroom doesn’t get all completo in the next 72 hours I’m going back to the French Riviera with my girl Rachael.  If I wanted to live out of a suitcase for 6 months at a time, I wouldn’t be doing it in Utah County.

Would you?

Don’t answer that.  It was kind of a trick question trap.

under constructionBut seriously you guys, this master bath is officially ridiculous.

In fact, if I were to show you the photos I took of my master bedroom (which is attached to this monstrosity of a project via gutted doorway) you’d stop reading this post ASAP-like to call child services and report the unsafe living conditions of my household.

It’s super sketch, just like my current frame of mind.

master bathroom

Alright, now that we’ve established my fragile mental state, let’s do a walk through of 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!

What was your summer of love?

Love.  It’s practically the theme of Summer, isn’t it?  Right behind pool parties, beach bonfires, house parties, and Summer nose jobs (come on, you had to know a few girls who came back in the Fall with new noses).  I always went into the Summers of my teen years hoping to snag an easy breezy May-December romance, something short term with a cute surfer boy from California who randomly chose to stay with a friend for a summer of awesome in Utah Valley.

*AHEM*

A girl can dream.  It never happened but I was never discouraged by that fact.  Every Summer I just knew, just KNEW this Summer would be the one.  I wasted a lot of time thinking about boys.

first love

I had boyfriends all through high school and remember distinctly my first love, a September – June romance (waste of time girls, don’t follow in my footsteps!  just study and get good grades and go to college!  the men’s volleyball team is EVERYTHING you hope they will be!)   The ending of that relationship was so tragic, so painful.  We had a great run all through my Freshman year, going to all the dances and house parties … >> 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 best Summer outfit ever

Summer is the best.  The best in the west, maybe the east, and certainly the south.  But not Vegas, summer is never good in Vegas.

Anyway it’s hot outside and freezing inside, the kids are home, pools are open, and it’s Snow Cone season.  It’s the perfect storm of happiness and swimsuits and glory.

Did I mention Summer is my favorite?

Summer Outfit - Going to the Market

So what does one wear on the way to the pool, or on a perfectly sunny Saturday at the farmer’s market?  I’ll tell you: whatever you want.

Want to know why? 

Because it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy.

But seriously, let’s say you really do want a suggestion about the best Summer outfit ever for you to wear wherever you want (remember the livin’ is easy), what would you wear?

Put on your favorite short-sleeved button down shirt, match it with some shorts or a flirty skirt, find some Ray Bans (or a cheap farmer’s market alternative) and toss on some sandals.  My favorite are Saltwater Sandals, preferably in a bright color (I do love me some color) but you can wear whatever sandals you want (if you’re looking to make your bum look tighter wear some wedges).  … >> 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!

Slow cooked chicken teriyaki recipe

It’s recipe time.  Food editor Lindsey is here to share with us her amazing recipe for pulled teriyaki chicken sandwiches.  Your mouth will water, I promise. – Allison

chicken-teriyaki-sandwiches-with-chips

Slow cookers.  Do you have one?  Do you use it?  I use mine several times a week with almost any recipe, and it saves my bacon when it comes to getting dinner on the table.  We can also talk about how using a slow cooker means that there are almost always leftovers.  One of our go-to meals is pulled chicken.  Specifically, my family loves my recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Teriyaki Sandwiches.  They are easy to throw together, feed us for a long time, and taste great.

chicken-teriyaki-sandwiches-pulled

I like to kick my version of slow cooker pulled chicken teriyaki up a notch by using my own recipe concoction of pineapple juice, rice wine vinegar, reduced sodium soy sauce and loads of fresh ginger and garlic.  And because it’s teriyaki, it’s supposed to be sweet, so I add a good amount of honey and brown sugar too.

chicken-teriyaki-sandwiches

Small Hawaiian sweet rolls are the perfect vehicle for the juicy, flavorful chicken.  I like to load up the sammies up with a plethora of … >> 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.

How to recycle a thrifted purse this Summer

How to recycle a thrifted purse this Summer, a new DIY tutorial from Steph, whose last project: how to geometric earrings made my life complete.

recycle thrifted purseI’m a firm believer that Memorial Day definitely marks the beginning of Summer, more so than the “official” season change in June. School is getting out, theme parks and pools are opening up for the season, and shorts and sundresses are essential. It’s summer! Let’s make sure our handbag says its so, too. I have a simple how to DIY project you can do in an afternoon to give a plain straw bag some Summer-time glamour.

recycle thrifted purseHow to recycle a thrifted purse this Summer

  • Straw Bag
  • Bias tape with piping
  • Sequin trim
  • Fabric/craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Pins

During a past visit to the thrift store I found a huge selection of straw bags and it was just my luck that they were 50% off! So instead of splurging on a 2 dollar purse, I got this cute bag for a mere buck! How can you pass that up?!  I may or may not have 3 more in my closet right now.

recycle a thrifted purseThe how to is pretty simple for this project:

1. Decide how to … >> find out more...

Stephanie Hayward

A designer, maker, crafter, and blogger, Stephanie Hayward spends her days designing buildings in Columbus, Ohio and nights blogging about design, DIY, and (attempts at making) good food at Stuff Steph Does. She lives with her partner in crime, Brandon, and their spunky little dog, Lucy.