toy idea for girls: cupcake maker.

$19.99
{via Amazon.com}.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that {in my eyes} this cupcake maker is a few steps above the Easy Bake Oven. Now calm down, don’t let me offend you here. I had my very own Easy Bake and so does my little P, but I don’t think it can hold a candle to this cupcake maker, which is one of the hottest little girl toys this season. Actually, I can’t really be sexist and call it a girl toy because I know my 4-year-old son C would go just as crazy for the cupcake maker as he would some Hot Wheels. What’s not to like? You add water to the mix, whip it up {it takes 30 seconds, it’s great for inattentive little creatures} pop it into one of the cupcake cups, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and voila, cupcakes! Love it.


{images via Amazon.com}.

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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!

cleaning tips.

Before I get to the good stuff, all the Christmas goodies I’ve been dying to share with you, I need to share a couple of cleaning tips. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need to have the whole house clean before I decorate for Christmas. While I was cleaning yesterday I was thinking about all kinds of tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years of my domestication and who better to share them with than you?


1. When switching loads of laundry I always take the used up fabric softener/dryer sheet and use it to clean out the lint trap on the dryer before I put a new load in to dry. I don’t know if it’s just the texture or the fact that the sheet still has a little static in it, but it works like a charm! Try it.

2. Stash fabric softener/dryer sheets all over the house to make it smell nice. I’m talking behind picture frames, behind plants, inside your husband’s stinky shoes, stashed in the coat closet, under your teenager’s bed. People will never know what you really have lurking in your house if you do this, 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!

neighbor gifts.


It’s December 1st and I have Christmas and baby on the brain. With a baby due shortly after the holiday season (that could potentially come right smack in the middle of the holiday season!) it’s hard to concentrate completely on holiday planning. I don’t even feel that I can really plan for the holidays, because a lot just depends on when this boy comes!

So I’m trying to keep things simple this year. One thing that I’d like to do for the first time is give neighbor gifts. My brother’s neighborhood is really good at doing this, and I think it’s a nice gesture. Many of the gifts are special Christmas candies and cookies, but some neighbors get even more creative and give non-food items.

This year, because we have several printed and ready to go, Mike and I will give out our Loveland Miscellany calendar. That helps me to keep things simple. But I have a few other neighbor gift ideas:

* Give a roll of wrapping paper and ribbon (make sure it’s still several days before Christmas!) and wish your neighbor happy wrapping.

* Give a gift basket of disposable tableware–Christmas-themed plates, napkins, cups, and utensils!

* … >> find out more...

Alma

Muji

Another find via OhDeeDo is  UK Based website Muji (there are a limited number of stores overseas) offering goodies from the famed modern Muji line of gifts and household items. I can see why people are talking about it—their assortment of wooden toys and playsets is irresistible. Some of my picks: 
even little gondolas!

mysteries of the world like Stonehenge and Lochness monster 
an adorable mini bowling set
note: 5.95 British is equal to about $9 US currency
convert pricing via this site

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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.

as promised, the giveaway winner.

and the winner is….

Rynell

Congratulations Rynell. Get in touch with me as soon as possible so I can get the gift card out to you. A big thanks to Build-A-Bear and to everyone who entered. We have a lot of fun giveaways lined up in the immediate future so STAY TUNED!

As always, if I don’t hear from you within a week a new winner will be chosen, so hurry!

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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!

how to: make a delicious homemade pie crust.

This weekend, Mike and I put together a little video tutorial for you on how to make a pie crust. We wanted to have it up before Thanksgiving. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a little bit too lengthy, but due to our lack of video editing skills, it’s the best that we could do. We’ll work on acquiring better video editing skills in the future. For now, if you have a good 20 minutes to invest, learn how to make a pie crust!

When I was 17, I was lucky enough to have my grandparents living in our home. They had a downstairs apartment. My dad told me that it was time I learned how to make a pie from my grandma, and sent me downstairs for instructions. Grandma taught me her technique. The next Wednesday, I was doing homework in my room. My dad came and found me and said, “Alma. What are you doing?” I said, “I am doing my homework.” He said, “It’s Wednesday. Wednesday is pie night. You should be making pies.” I told him, “I’m doing my homework.” The next week, he came and found me again and asked, “Alma. What … >> find out more...

Alma

recipe for homemade pumpkin apple muffins.

Seems the season is ripe for sharing, and I promise this one is a keeper. And just right for Thanksgiving morning,  when you most definitely need sustenance to see you through to the big meal, but you most definitely don’t want anything heavy. Must save room for stuffing and pie! These are perfect for house guests–make a day or two ahead then allow guests to help themselves to muffins and juice or milk. I had a lovely roommate in college named Meadow (Meadow, are you out there somewhere?) who made these muffins, perfectly befitting her wholesome-vegetarian-mountain-biking style. She didn’t skimp at all on these, and they are delicious.  I don’t even butter mine, they are that good.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins
2 1/2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. orange zest
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 c.canned pumpkin
1 c. chopped apples (McInstosh, Granny Smith)
Streusel Topping
4 tsp. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. flour

Combine streusel ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and set aside. Combine wet ingredients in >> 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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p.s. the twilight soundtrack.

{image via Barnes & Noble}.

I promise I won’t beat the Twilight drum all day, but I forgot to mention that I love the playlist Stephenie Meyer compiled as her idea of the movie soundtrack, it was perfect. And even though the movie soundtrack doesn’t match her playlist, it did a great job portraying the emotions of the film. So, if anyone wants to send me an iTunes gift card or the Twilight Soundtrack please feel free, Christmas is just around the corner. In the meantime, enjoy my mix tape of Stephenie’s playlist.


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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!

twilight movie review.

I’ve been a Twilight fan from the beginning, through controversy and all, {and by the way enjoying them doesn’t make me any less of an intellectual, I take issue with that} and I love the whole series, even {gasp, sigh!} Breaking Dawn. I was one of those crazy people who went with a group of girlfriends last night to the Midnight showing of the movie adaptation of Twilight. I’m not going to give anything away for those of you who haven’t seen it, but for those of you who have: spill. I want to know what you think. All of you, good, bad, or otherwise.


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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!