stride rite shoes.

This is about the time of year my kids come to me for new shoes having trashed their own beyond repair grown out of their school shoes. Is your family like this? I buy great shoes for the kids in September, and by Halloween their toes are bursting out the front searching for breathing room.

Dakota.
$54
Girl size 6-12
{via Stride Rite}.


I hadn’t experienced Stride Rite shoes until recently and I have to say, I am very impressed. My children possess the unique ability to destroy shoes, clothing, {bedrooms} at an alarming rate. They could single handedly complete all the research for toys, shoes, and clothing in their demographic. If a company wants to know how much wear and tear a product can take, send it my way.

$52
Sperry Top-Sider Barracuda.
{via StrideRite.com}
boy size 8.5-12


Stride Rite shoes not only hold up to my children {amazing!} they are actually attractive, comfortable, and built to last {gasp!}. I’ve become a convert. They are perfectly sturdy for my little destructos, and attractive enough for me.

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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!

delicious cranberry salad for thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving is coming up around the corner, and I’d be slightly more excited if I could eat everything that I look forward to every year. Unfortunately, I have gestational diabetes, which really limits the carbs that I’m allowed to have. Of course, my favorite Thanksgiving foods would have to be the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the yams (covered in marshmallows), and the desserts. (I’m an expert pie maker, you know.)

Most beloved of all Thanksgiving foods for me, however, is the Disgusting Turkey. Since this is probably the LEAST diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving food possible, I’m not even going to try a bite this year. But I’ll share the recipe with all of you so that maybe out there, someone else can benefit.

Now, Disgusting Turkey isn’t disgusting at all. But there is a story behind that. My mom’s best friend is the most caring, wonderful, sensitive, kind, generous, and gracious person in the world. She would never say anything bad about anyone. She’s the type of person whose greatest joy in life comes from sacrificing her own comfort just to give you the best thing she can possibly offer. You get the picture? Do you have the stereotype in mind yet?… >> find out more...

Alma

For all the little odds and ends


For years I have been using hanging shoe organizers like the one pictured.  But not for my shoes.  I’ve placed them on my list of indispensable household tricks. 

  • In the laundry room for odd buttons, lint rollers, mini sewing kits, etc. 
  • In the nursery for little socks and shoes, pacifiers, burp cloths, etc. 
  • In my closet for hosiery, scarves and similar accessories
  • In the coat closet for mittens, hats, and little things like alcohol gel, lip balm, spare keys, flashlights, batteries, bandages, and extra take-along items for my little guy.
Other possible uses: for office supplies, for arts and crafts supplies, for hair accessories, or in the pantry for small packages of nuts, seasoning, sprinkles, birthday candles, and whatnot. 
I always opt for clear organizers so I can see everything at a glance. Some hang by hooks on the back of a door, others hang from a hanger on a closet rod. They take up very little space and make it so easy to keep track of odds and ends that tend to wander at will. Makes me happy. Available at Target, the Container Store, and other places that sell closet-organizing items. 
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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.

plasma car for kids.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that it snowed today, or that Halloween is over and I need a new holiday to decorate for, but Christmas presents are on my mind right now. I have encountered so many cool toys as of late that I hardly know where to start. Hardly. That leaves a little wiggle room, right?

$69.95
{via PlasmaCar}.
ages 3-12 {up to 220 lbs}

Speaking of wiggling, I think we need to discuss the PlasmaCar. It’s a “ride-on car that harnesses the natural forces of inertia, centrifugal force, gravity and friction to drive on a smooth, flat surface. No batteries, no power-cells, no liquid fuel…just that most inexhaustible of energy sources, kid-power! I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you’ve ever witnessed a kid playing on one of these cars you understand why the PlasmaCar won the Oppenheimer Toy Award in 2005. These things are magic, and we could all use a little extra magic during the Holidays right?

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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!

animal towels for kids.

3 Sprouts, a company based in Ontario, Canada, offers a sweet collection of animal bean bags, hooded towels, & sleep sacks, all of which are cute enough to make me want baby #3. The towels are thick, soft, and extremely well made. The bean bags are perfect for afternoon story time or the finishing touch on your perfect nursery.

Pouletta Bean Bag Chair
$155.
{via Mortimer Snodgrass}.

>> 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!

Little Jet Set

Discussions of holiday travel plans are common at my house right now. Where to go for what holiday, whether to go anywhere at all, when to go if we do go, weather considerations, and how to manage it all with the impending discomfort of pregnancy and our delightful [impossible] 2 year old. The latter probably posing the greatest obstacle–I’d rather avoid resigning myself to a portable DVD player.

Thankfully, Little Jet Set has compiled a delightful arsenal of travel helps and amusements for all ages.  Their collection is stellar to say the least, whether traveling short distances or long, whether by plane or train or automobile. My favorite items are those that are portable, versatile, creative and entertaining but not necessarily electronic.  Some picks: 

Very snuggly blanket, pillow, and soft toy, easily attached to or stuffed in a carry on bag. Adorably available in all sorts of favorite zoo and safari animals with cute names. This one is already loved by my little guy and we haven’t gone anywhere yet!
Large, sturdy, utterly cheerful illustrated cards that encourage a child (and

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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.

nicole CARMAN photography giveaway!


This will be quick as I’m having a hard time tearing myself away from the election coverage. I have an AMAZING giveaway courtesy of the ever generous and talented Nicole Carman.

If you live in or around the Utah area, you’ve got to enter. Nicole is so great with kids {C is notorious for being rotten during photo shoots but Nicole manages to get great shots of him anyway} and she’s never taken a picture of my family I didn’t love. The shoot will include a 1-hour photo session {valued at $175, which is a BARGAIN even if you’re paying!} at one or two locations, and she includes a disc of the photos for you to do with as you wish, {most photographers charge an exorbitant amount for the disc}.

For those of you who don’t win, Nicole is running a Fall special for Petit Elefant readers: $75 for a 1-hour photo session!!

So, tell your neighbors, tell your friends, anyone who lives in Utah! If you blog about this and send me the blog to your link with the post, you will get an extra entry to the giveaway. If you add the Petit Elefant button to your blog … >> 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!

go vote.

I’m back! I’ve been m.i.a. for a bit but I’m very happy to go back. The death of my friend’s son really rocked me and I’ve been spending a lot of time loving on my babies instead of blogging. A big thank you to my co-editors KJ and Alma for their fantastic posts, and a humongous KUDOS to Amy Turn Sharp for her guest posts. Isn’t she clever? I loved all her ideas and can’t wait to try them all next year!

I have a couple of fun giveaways which I’ll get to later, but first let’s talk about voting.

We’re all tired of the campaign, but today is the day. Every election it seems really hard to leave the house and into the cold with the kiddos in tow to vote, and every election my husband reminds me how lucky I am to be able to vote. Not just as a woman {which is hugely important} but as an American in a democratic country. My husband spent enough time as a child living in horrific conditions in communist Poland that he doesn’t take voting for granted for a second, and when he’s done telling me how grateful I … >> 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!

Make Your Own Muppet

In honor of Mike’s and my anniversary today, I thought that I should share something very near and dear to his heart. Mike absolutely loves the Muppets. So within moments of FAO Schwartz opening their Muppet What Not Workshop where you can design your own Muppet, Mike had already assembled and ordered his very own, self-designed, fully-functional Muppet. We haven’t received it yet, but we know it’s been shipped.

You need to check this site out. Even if you don’t want to actually order one, they’re really fun to play with and assemble with your kids. Here are a few that I put together this morning.

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Alma