I got pregnant with my oldest in a bamboo hut in a refugee camp on the borders of Myanmar and Thailand. We were working with Karen refugees that were chased out of Myanmar for their beliefs. Now they resided in a camp managed by the Thai government. We were welcomed there but still had to abide by the rules. One of those rules was lights out at 7 PM. Not much to do in a dark bamboo hut after 7 PM, if you know what I mean. Cue lesson in the birds and the bees. Like a Cabbage Patch Kid, we joke with our oldest that we’re going to get “Made in Thailand” inked on his rear. Nothing puts red on the cheeks faster than telling your child where he was conceived. Parents are, like, so embarrassing.
That was the beginning of our six week trek across Thailand. Newly pregnant, I had nothing to show for it except waves of nausea that crept in at the most inopportune times. Everyone told me the best part about Thailand was the food. They were all liars. Cashew coconut chicken curry turned my stomach like nobody’s business. Comfort food was nowhere to be found. … >> find out more...
If your summer plans include hitting up every great sale that comes along, it’s time you had some training. Might sound silly, but trust me, if you go into a sale with a plan and a purpose, you come out at the other end quicker, happier, and significantly less broke. Let’s eighty-six the buyer’s remorse, mmkay?
There are too many summer “blow-outs” to keep track of, but a personal favorite of mine is the “Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual” which is happening right now! How do I survive that explosion of lace, sequins, and smelly body lotion? These are seven tips and tricks that I have picked up by working in retail and by indulging in (sometimes over-indulging in) sales myself, with pictures from my last semi-annual haul.
- Know what you want. Check online and see what you are looking for, before you go. I always start with the basics: “I’m looking for a nude bra, black bra, and pajamas.”
- Go early! You are not the only one looking to take advantage of half-priced heaven, but you can be one of the few early birds.
… >> find out more...
- Be prepared to budge. Sometimes the store will be out of the exact item you imagined,
Fathers Day is coming, like, soon. Anyone else struggling to find an awesome/hip/modern/cool gift for Dad this Father’s Day? In my opinion, finding presents for men is not easy! Maybe my husband is rather fussy, and I can never get just the right gift for him. But don’t you worry- I’ve done my research this year and I think I’ve found 10 perfect gifts for Father’s Day. All of these gifts are man-approved and won’t break the bank. Check them out and see for yourself!
1. “Your Baby’s First Word will be DADA” from Amazon: You had me at Jimmy Fallon. I love that he wrote this funny children’s book for all the new dads out there that want their baby’s first word to be “Dada!” So cute.
2. Homeowners Tool Set from The Home Depot: These tools will help get the job done! Every dad needs a good convenient set of tools that will come in handy for those everyday household projects.
3. Sriracha2Go: Does your Dad/Husband/Guy in your life love Sriracha sauce as much as mine does? If so, there is a 100% chance that this gift is PERFECT for him.
4. Photobook from Printstagram… >> find out more...
My family and I moved to South Africa in 2007. Besides a 2 year hiatus, we’ve held the title of “foreign national” for eight years strong. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way I’ve tried to make my American culture fit into a land that thinks so differently. Bottom line is, it doesn’t. There are days that I like to think I’ve adapted and changed to this different culture. Then load shedding hits, and it all goes to pot.
What is load shedding, you may ask?
South Africa does not have enough power to run the country. We won’t get into the reasons of why. In order to compensate, we have regular power outages, usually lasting about two hours and usually in the evening when day has given way to night, and it’s just plain dark outside.
Those are days that I get grumpy. You know why? It’s inconvenient. I have to go all the way to the cabinet to pull out the lanterns. Sometimes it happens while I’m cooking dinner, and I can’t even see what I’m throwing in the pot. So metimes I forget to charge my phone leaving me unconnected from the world. Gasp. Sometimes … >> find out more...
I love grapefruit! Grapefruit has been an acquired taste for me, honestly. Anytime my mom bought it when I growing up, I protested as a matter of course, but the older I’ve gotten the more I can appreciate the tartly sweet citrus for the tasty business it is. I still like to mix grapefruit with other flavors when I can, and sometimes when I eat one by itself I add a small spoonful of honey to maximize the awesome.
So you can imagine how much I love a good grapefruit drink then. I like it, I like it a lot. (name that movie) A bubbly grapefruit drink with lemons, cranberry juice and a sprig or two of mint? Fuhgetaboutit. Heaven. Even if you’re not a huge grapefruit aficionado, I think this drink might appeal to you.
I’m just saying.
The glorious thing about this drink recipe is that you can make it with or without alcohol, and you can sweeten it or leave it a bit tart, depending how you like your drinks.
I like a tiny bit of sweet to counteract the tart, but I didn’t add any sugar to this recipe. If you like … >> find out more...
Alright friends. It’s Disney World vacation time. Finally, after months and months of planning. So. Much. Planning. Nothing left to do but enjoy! It may seem daunting at first, but understanding the special terms and lingo and following a few tips in advance can make all that planning easy-peasy, and totally worthwhile in the end. So here’s some practical info to get you started.
Once you’ve reserved your hotel and made your transportation plans, you’re ready for the nitty gritty details of all that magic you’re going to enjoy. Theme park tickets and park hopper upgrades? Fast Passes? ADRs? Magic Express? Magic Bands? What?? Don’t freak out! It seems so complicated, but really, it’s just Disney talk for simplifying the whole vacation experience. If you are a compulsive planner, today’s your lucky day. If you fly by the seat of your pants, well, take a few notes to spare yourself a headache later. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Magic Express: This is Disney’s complimentary ground transportation from the airport for guests staying at a Disney resort. It’s reliable, comfortable, gracious, easy and free. If this option applies to your plans, be sure and indicate in your My Disney … >> find out more...
While it may be intimidating to try and master yet another hair tool, I have to say, this one is so worth it. The curling wand creates a more natural wavy texture that the curling iron can’t quite match. If you’re looking to achieve that messy, beachy look, then a curling wand is just what you need. Here’s how to get the look:
I like to curl my hair in 3 layers, so let’s start with the bottom layer. Holding the curling wand with the plug-end facing up, select a piece of hair about a quarter or half inch thick. If you want more piecey waves, choose thinner pieces of hair. Hold the curling wand behind the piece of hair and wrap the hair around the wand, away from your face. Hold for 10-12 seconds.
For the middle layer, I recommend alternating which way you curl each piece. Try some by holding the curling wand in front of the piece of hair and wrap it around the wand towards your face. Hold for 10-12 seconds. When you switch to the other side of your head, make sure you also switch the curling wand into your other hand. So hold the curling wand in your … >> find out more...
Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. We’re starting out a new week with a new quote, this week from beloved Emily Dickinson. A little encouragement and love spread out in the world is never a bad thing, and life’s purpose doesn’t always have to be grand.
But Emily said it best.
Petit Elefant Quote of the Week
If I can stop one heart
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life
or cool one pain,
or help one fainting robin
unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
– Emily Dickinson –
If you’re just getting started, we’re on week 5 of the new inspiring quote series. If you’re interested in catching up, here are links to week 1, week 2, week 3 and week 4 of Petit Elefant Quote of the Week.
… >> find out more...
A daily routine has become a thing for me, in the last 6 months. We all do some of the same stuff daily, like go to work, drop kids off at school or daycare, or even a daily trip to the gym. But I’ve been working really, really, super hard on having almost the same routine every single day, including weekends. Because what I realized in all my actively-getting-healthier business is that routine, simple daily routine, makes my life a happier place to be.
Do you remember about a month ago when I started the 28 day clean face challenge with Burt’s Bees? I started the challenge by doing the same things I was already doing every day like exercising, drinking 2-3 gallons of water, meditating / reading my scriptures, and going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. But what I wasn’t doing consistently was washing my face every morning and night, and going through a regular skin care routine, and it’s SO IMPORTANT to do that, especially when you’re just shy of 40 years old (but also, ALWAYS).
So for the last month, I’ve started every day … >> find out more...