there’s no place like home.

At the wedding dinner.

Hello all, I’m back from NYC. We had so much {kid-free} fun it should be illegal, and we’re finally home; exhausted but also oddly rejuvenated. A great trip has the ability to change my perspective in such a way that coming home is a new trip in and of itself. In a good way. I missed the kids terribly, and I remember now why I love living where I do, with grass and a swing set, a garden and a deck. I love that it’s quiet at night, and that it’s not too bright to see the constellations while lying on the grass in my backyard.

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

That being said, the wedding was all it was cracked up to be {and more} and I’m glad I decided to vote ‘yes’ to sugar because there was a “dessert HOUR” in addition to all the freely flowing sugary foods throughout the night {I think I drank at least four Piña coladas}. In fact, I think dessert was the theme of this vacation. I ate a minimum of two desserts per day. And despite the fact that we did nothing but walk, >> find out more...


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!

Self Promotion Moment?

Blogging at Petit Elefant was a lot of fun this week. I am very grateful for all your comments and suggestions on books and baby items!

As I sign off, I might take this moment for a shameless bit of self promotion. Remember that I design lots of great things, including baby announcements! I don’t have my website up yet, but in the meantime, you can always look through the blog that my husband and I share. Contact me if you want a unique baby announcement, wedding announcement, or anything announcement! Or anything else, really… I’m up for it!

Thanks again!!

(This is a project that I finished today for a couple who is ready to adopt a baby. If you have any leads, feel free to drop them a line at their email address.)

>> find out more...


Planet Earth

Sunday this week was a sad day. It was the day that Mike and I finished watching Planet Earth. No more episodes?? Are you kidding me?

I know that everyone knows about Planet Earth already, but if you haven’t watched this documentary, you absolutely must! What’s best is that it’s good for all ages. My friend Jenny, mother of two (two and four years old) reported that they rewound and rewatched the shark eating a seal scene about twenty times. I don’t know if she’s trying to do scare therapy or what, but they actually seemed to enjoy it, so who am I to judge?

The documentary is fascinating. Mike and I had to pause it over and over and over again to discuss what we were actually learning about animals and our planet. I can’t remember the last time any documentary made me do that. There were just such interesting things that I couldn’t possibly not talk about them right. that. second.

It’s beautiful. It’s educational. It’s timeless. Go out and borrow it from the library, rent it, or buy it straight up.

>> find out more...


recipe for peanut butter pie with cream cheese filling.

When I was living in Italy a few years ago (where peanut butter is scarce and expensive) I came across this recipe and had to make it. It has become a staple in my life, and I hope that you can enjoy it, too. It’s really, really easy and fast, by the way!

Peanut Butter Pie


butter and chocolate cookies.

(Or, you know, just buy one already made at the grocery store. Most stores sell both plain graham and chocolate graham crusts. It’s actually often cheaper to buy one than to buy the ingredients to make your own. I always choose the Oreo one because it’s the right kind of chocolate for this recipe.)


3/4 cup peanut butter
1 block of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk

mix those together till smooth

gently fold in 2 cups whipped cream
(to save time, I just use cool whip or canned whipped cream)

add 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, fold in

sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top

Refrigerate for a few hours before eating.



book pick: it’s all too much.

So I mentioned earlier this week that my husband and I have a great de-cluttering problem to tackle in our home. We’re not the worst collectors in the world, but I think that we can both agree that we have too much stuff. At my last job, I could get nice, quality purses for free or almost free. I already had a purse collecting problem. So suddenly I had the power to binge collect purses that I’d never be able to afford on my own. And I actually reached a purse saturation point, if you can believe it. I had too many purses and couldn’t handle the thought of getting just one more. I mean, can you imagine the level of purse overload that would enable me to say “no” to taking home this beauty?

That’s what I’m trying to tell you. I already had way too much.

So right now, the future baby’s room looks like a storage shed of lots of different things. My purses. Mike’s miscellaneous camera and film equipment. My wedding dress that I swore I’d sell immediately. Bedding for sizes of beds that we don’t even own. The list goes on.

Then, this week … >> find out more...


Classic Children’s Entertainment

This is a note from my husband, who loves film and animation:

This is Alma’s husband Mike, and I wanted to throw my 2 cents in here to an arena I feel comfortable offering my humble yet knowledgeable opinion.

That being children’s entertainment. Even though Alma and I are not yet parents (but will be fairly soon), I have already stockpiled my favorite children’s entertainment. It’s taken me years to build up my collection.

The entertainment I have chosen happens to be the most beloved of my childhood, and my hope is that if I expose my children to it early before they get wind of Spongebob and his Magical square pants or something of the like, then I will have accomplished something great in providing a similar experience to what I had.

I find that the classics still hold up perfectly well for the most part. I speak primarily of Disney Classic Short films, which are available through the Disney Treasures line. The only problem is that some of the releases such as The Complete Goofy (which contains every short animated film they ever made with Goofy as the lead character) are out of print and now cost … >> find out more...


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Maternity Shopping

Last week, my husband Mike surprised me with a brand new maternity outfit. What’s great about the outfit is that I can fit in it now even though I’m not showing, but it also has a lot of room to rapidly expand. And what’s even better is that it’s from Target, where I like to buy most of my clothing because I’m practical like that.

Here’s the outfit that he bought me:

The next day I went to Target myself to see if there were any other clothes that I could stock up on, but I have to say that Mike actually bought me pretty much the only two items I would have bought myself. I was a little disappointed. (It’s also annoying that the maternity section seems to run into the Plus Sizes section without a clear delineation between the two; I wish that they were just a little more separate so that I could clearly see which displays were specifically for maternity.) But I went online and found at least three more outfits that I wouldn’t mind buying myself:
I’m the type of girl who finds a shirt that she loves and then buys it in as many … >> find out more...


Some Products to Consider

The second email my cousin sent me was full of product recommendations. The trouble is, of course, that she lives in Europe, so at least one of these products is only available over there, but I thought it was cool so I’d share. Here’s what she said about buying for baby:

“The advice I found the most useful was about what items people really used. Even that is so individual, but everything about having a baby is, and even more so because babies have an opinion too!”

As you look at these products and see some of her comments, remember that she lives in France and takes public transportation a lot. As always, I’d love for you to comment and add your own opinions. What have you found works for you?


Bugaboo Frog Stroller
“I love this stroller but it is going on eBay after having been used maximum 40 times in about a year. We have ended up using the sling 95% of the time, so we could have gotten away with something like the Quinny Zapp.”

Quinny Zapp Stroller
“It can be connected to a car seat and is really light weight and portable.”

“Standalone” stroller frame>> find out more...


what to read when you’re pregnant.

When my cousin who lives in France found out that I was pregnant, she sent me two very long emails full of advice. Everyone knows that with pregnancy comes a deluge of both unsolicited advice and horror stories. But I was grateful to receive her emails because all of the advice was written down. Usually advice comes during a conversation, and it’s pretty much forgotten as soon as it’s given. How can I be expected to remember the lists and lists and lists of “crucial” advice that they’re giving me if it’s not written down? So I have only these emails from my cousin that I can refer back to as I get ready for the baby.

The first email talked about several books, three of which I’ll share with you. I think that these could help me out adjusting to the first few months of motherhood. (The comments in quotations are from her email to me.)

The Contented Little Baby Book
“You will hate it at first, her writing is terrible, and you will swear you will never be the cold-hearted parent putting baby on a schedule, BUT her schedules quite accurately frame the natural rhythm of most babies … >> find out more...