easy taco soup recipe for busy nights.

This recipe is an absolute no-fail dinner for my kids, and is especially fit for a busy soccer night {or any other night full of extracurricular activities}. My kids beg for it, and that doesn’t happen all that often in my house {read:never}. It’s warm and perfect for a crisp Fall night. This recipe is pretty big for our family of 4 and I usually have leftovers to serve the following night, {and who doesn’t love leftovers?}.

Taco Soup

1 T minced onion
1 can corn
1 lb. hamburger {I usually use turkey burger}
1 can olives, sliced
1 can pinto beans {you can use any kind in a pinch}
1 lg. can stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce or paste + water
2 T taco seasoning mix
Fritos
cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream


Add all ingredients to browned hamburger. Boil for 5 minutes. Serve as follows: place in bowl: 1/4 full of Fritos, pour soup over the top, sprinkle with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Yum!

{photo found here}.

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!

A little suga for the tootsies


Oh how the summer takes its toll on our tootsies.  Calluses, cracks, roughness (and let’s not even get started on “crusty”) are the plagues of summer for feet.  Give them some sweet treatment available in your very own pantry. The recipe below evolved from 3 or 4 others I tried.  You will need:

1 cup of light brown sugar 
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil 
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
a small, wide-mouth container with a lid
Stir ingredients until combined, adding oil slowly until desired consistency is reached.  It should be moist but not runny. In the shower, massage your feet, knees, elbows, everywhere with your scrumptious smelling sugar scrub. Rub gently but thoroughly. Rinse. (Caution! this can make your shower slippery!) Store unused scrub in the fridge. Make extra for your friends. Your feet, and your bed sheets, will thank you. You will thank yourself. Enjoy!

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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.

room it up.

It’s back-to-school week around my house; P has been in school for a week and C starts preschool tomorrow. P’s curriculum has already ratcheted up quite a bit from last year and her homework is non-stop already, which is where, papa-ta-pa: Room It Up enters the scene. Room It Up has a myriad of fantastic school gear including my favorite, the Lap Desk.

$28
Boho Flower Lap Desk

{via Room It Up}.

If you’ve never used a lap desk, now is the time to become initiated into the world of studying/working/writing while in bed, on a plane, or in the car. It’s a portable desk anywhere you need to go, and I for one wouldn’t have made it through College without one.

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!

happy labor day!


Happy Labor Day everyone. Hope you’re enjoying one last BBQ, trip to the beach, dip in the pool, and one more day of sunny Summer weather. If I could choose, this is what it would be for me.

Wish I were here:

Doing this:


And this:

With these guys:

Images: 1.via flickr 2.via Pottery Barn 3.Personal photo 4.via Nicole Carman Photography

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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!

flashcards.

My little one really enjoys flash cards–we’re working on the ABCs right now. While I love the idea (a great learning tool!), I’ve often wished the images had more significance to him.
Enter Goosie Cards, created by clever mom Jennifer Marchetti to enrich her own baby’s learning process. They are large, colorful, and sturdy, having thus far withstood the hands of my monster, I mean toddler.  The best part: you can custom design your own cards with your very own photos. As Jennifer says: “You can make a special set of flash cards that stars each member of the family to teach your child who’s who or maybe their own set of  personal ABCs to teach them every letter in the alphabet from their own point of view…like M is for Mommy.” Naturally.
The process is simple: log in, upload your photos, and presto! Your cards are shipped out 3 days later.  Very slick. You can even select from their original sets for ABCs, Sign Language or Favorite Foods, among others. All with clear, bright images that great teaching and bonding tools for your little one.

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.

oompa backpack GIVEAWAY winner.

I know it’s taken me all day to get it up, but here is the winner of the Oompa Backpack Giveaway:

comment #195, Terry Fisher


Terri, get in touch with me as soon as possible with your mailing address so we can get the backpack to your son. Thanks to everyone who entered, and as always, stay tuned for more fun giveaway love.

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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!

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Love to Nie Nie


Stephanie, of the beloved Nie Nie Dialogues, and her husband  were involved in a horrific plane crash recently. Friends, family and strangers have harnessed the power of the internet and the blogosphere to do them a good turn, as their recovery will be long, arduous, and extremely costly. Learn about Stephanie, Christian and the crash here.

Gracious Design Mom has instituted today, Thursday,  August 28th 
Nie Nie Day.
She and several other thoughtful blogging mommies (like this one and these) are hosting auctions, with all proceeds benefitting Stephanie and Christian in their mighty battle. Click on over, won’t you? 
Why help? Stephanie is a woman, a mother, a sister, a friend, a wife, a daughter, a blogger, and inspiration to so many. Simply, she’s just like you.  Never underestimate the power of kindness multiplied by the internet. 
>> 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.

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mom calendar.

Part of my whole back-to-school ritual every year is to get a {big} new calendar for the school year. The moment the paperwork from school {and a myriad of extracurricular activities} starts flowing through the front door like a tidal wave, I write it all down on a master calendar. That way I’m not surprised in October when I’m expected to bring treats for sixteen preschoolers, and that come November I’m the head mom for the 3rd grade Thanksgiving Feast.

16″ x 19″
{via Time Too}.

I’ve tried several wall and desk calendars and am impressed with calendars from Time Too. Perhaps it’s because the creator of the Time Too product line Catherine Nunes, is the mother of four daughters and knows all too well how critical it is to be well organized during the school year. The calendar is huge, so there’s room to fit in all the family’s activities with additional room on the bottom for extra notes and special dates. Go get yourselves organized already.

Printed on 100% recycled, forest friendly, chlorine free paper.

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!

unique russian matryoshka dolls.

Inga, (burgundy), $25
Oksana (blue), $25

There’s something so enchanting about traditional Matryoshka dolls. I’m rather fond of these soft, limited edition, hand-crafted beauties. Quiet Hours Toys (discovered via Design Mom) is an on-line shop featuring limited-edition, handcrafted children’s items. These sweet one-of-a -kind Matryoshka dolls, by Denise Mollison, are just one example of the many treasures you’ll find there. I think they’d make a lovely gift for a lovely little girl. FYI: Items sell out quickly, as nothing is mass-produced but rather skillfully hand-made by a few artisans.

Eloise, $25

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.