More Outlander For You + ABS (And A Contest)!

Did you take my advice a couple weeks ago and watch the series premiere of Outlander, your new favorite show of all time? If you haven’t, I’m about to reprimand you in my very stern mom voice,

It’s a shame you’re not being obedient. I’m quite disappointed in the choice you just made. I still love you, but I wish you’d listen to me because I’m looking out for your best interests.

Was that passive aggressive enough for you? Ha!

If you didn’t watch the first episode of Outlander, no worries, you can still catch in on STARZ. In fact, it might be good that you waited because now there are two episodes ready for you to binge on, and tomorrow night there will be one more!

You guys. Seriously. Outlander is so good my own super manly man of a husband is waiting for the next episode. Have you watched it? If you have (thank you for being obedient) what do you think of Jamie? He’s kind of perfection. Sam Heughan, (the actor who plays Jamie) is actually a Scot so he’s making it WERK, and Claire! She’s the very best. A modern day feminist … >> 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!

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Promise I Made To My Strong Daughter

RSL

My daughter has made it through the roughest year of her young life, and it’s not over yet.  She’s been through so much, for so long.  Really, WE have been through so much together this year, as both a mother and her beloved daughter.  We’re somewhere in the middle of our journey, but there’s no light at the end of the tunnel quite yet, and it’s hard stuff.  This daughter of mine is handling this heartbreak with a strength and dignity I didn’t possess at 15, and even now as a full-fledged adult.  I’m learning, and stretching, and crying a lot as we go through this awfulness together, and in the end I think I might even be grateful for what I’ve learned.

But, don’t quote me on that.

My strong, willful, graceful, funny, smart and beautiful daughter and I participated in a video in celebration of mothers and daughters making promises to one another.  Tori Amos, celebrated musician and fellow mother of a teenaged daughter, has just released an album Unrepentant Geraldines, featuring a song called ‘Promise’.  In the song, Tori and her gorgeous daughter make promises to one another, the kind only a mother and daughter … >> 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!

The Oregon Coast Belongs On Your Bucket List

Oregon CoastWe officially crossed something off our proverbial bucket lists this summer: a family trip to the Oregon coast. If you’ve been there, you already know the joy of it. Never been? Go. You’ll be forever delighted with the memories, sights and sounds of a rugged, breathtaking, magical slice of the Pacific coast.

oregon coast cannon beachWe enjoyed hikes through the towering forests, running across crescent beaches, kite flying (a favorite pastime here), a first attempt at skim boarding, early misty-morning beach combing, sand dollar discoveries, beach sunsets, and ice cream cones. All reasons to find a spot on your personal bucket list for the Oregon coast, for a perfectly amazing weekend.

oregon coast kites

oregon coastOur Oregon coast weekend was spent mainly on Cannon Beach, home to iconic Haystack Rock. It’s a behemoth rock right on the shore that serves as a nesting spot for Puffins and other sea birds. The rock is also surrounded by tidepools. At low tide we could walk right out to it and view hundreds of sea anemones, barnacles, mussels, even sea stars and hermit crab. Any fans of the movie Goonies. (“Hey you guys!”) will recognize lots of Cannon Beach scenery.

oregon coastI could not have anticipated the boundless joy my boys,… >> 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.

3 Back to School Girls Hairstyles

Need some cute back to school girls hairstyles to try on your favorite little females?  Whoa.  That’s right, back to school. I cannot even believe it myself, but it’s almost time! How can that be true? I’m starting to things like “Back in my day, we started the day after labor day!” But I guess this old lady has to get with it! Even if there is no Labor Day in France where we live.

To help ease some of the pain, and eliminate some potential school-morning-drama,  I thought I’d share some fun back-to-school girls hairstyles. Easy and cute. If you ever read my blog, you might wonder where I got the little girls to model for me. Turns out my beautiful nieces are willing little models with lots of hair to style. So, we snapped a bunch of poses and pictures, and I got to have some serious girl time.

3 back to school hairstyles for little girls

back to school hairstylesNow, if you’re like me, and mostly are fixing breakfast and rushing out the door, trying to remember lunches and backpacks and jackets and tying shoes, the last thing you need is a head of hair that needs doing, let … >> find out more...

natalia

Natalia is a mom to two crazy boys and wife to one handsome dude. She lives in France part of the year where her husband plays professional basketball, but she hails from Southern California. The hubs was born & raised in Nassau, Bahamas, which makes them an intercultural, interracial family traveling the globe together since 2007. She loves to cook (but mostly eat), hang with her fam, be adventurous, & find ways to stay girlie in a house full of men. On her site you can find loads of hair tutorials, makeup ideas, & fashion tips for the everyday woman. She believes that beauty and fashion don't have to be intimidating and that every woman should learn to embrace her own beauty.

Understanding A Different Culture

Understanding CultureUnderstanding a different “culture” is more than just knowing about traditions and foods of a place you are visiting. It’s understanding what different countries & people value, or find humorous or consider offensive. For example, this conversation that really happened to me:

“Jen, did you sit behind a computer the whole time you were in the states?”

“Why?”

“Because you look a little bit fat.”

Gasp! This is a real life conversation I had with one of my African friends upon returning to S. Africa after 2+ months of traveling around the U.S. and England. I mean, yes, there were a few more fat cells stuck to my thighs, midsection, and derrière (thank you Austin food trucks), but no one is supposed to actually point that out, right? Isn’t is supposed to be rude to say things like that?

Well, that’s what my American culture tells me. Fat equals a four letter word that should never be used to describe someone, and is definitely not a compliment to an American’s ears.

Did you know that calling someone fat in African culture is a compliment?

Take a moment to wrap your head around that one. I’ve lived in Africa on … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Outlander Will Be Your New Show

My new favorite show for late Summer (and Fall) is officially Outlander. Have you heard the buzz about the widely adored book Outlander being turned into a series? If you haven’t, I’m here for you. I’ve scouted this one out, and by the end, you will be salivating to see the new series.

I was introduced to the Outlander books (there are several, beginning with Outlander) a handful of years ago, by multiple friends. I was down and out with a black eye and separated shoulder after a bad fall while skiing over Christmas, in bed for the rest of the holiday break, and in desperate need of something to read. So I asked for recommendations on the Petit Elefant Facebook page, (thank you to everyone who answers my questions over there!) and was inundated with great book ideas. The one book series that was recommended over and over again was a series called Outlander, written by Diana Gabaldon. I’d never heard of the series, but I had time on my hands, so I went to the library and checked out the first book.

The books are approximately a billion and a half pages each, but the writing is so … >> 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!

Pro Tips for Taking Photos of Kids

My kids are the focus of most of my day-to-day photos, whether I’m just using the camera on my phone, or pulling out my big girl camera.  And would you like to learn something interesting about kids?

They can be very hard to photograph.

photography tipsTake my daughter for example, she’s old enough to know what I want when I’m taking a photo of her, but I usually end up with 10-15 of these before I get 1 “normal” shot.

family photosIt’s hard for me to capture the spontaneous moments of my kids on camera, and I was under the impression that having children pose for the photo you were just trying to grab spontaneously, but didn’t get your cell phone out of your purse/pocket/car fast enough.

taking photos of kids

Me Ra says it’s cool to re-position your kids to have them re-create the magical moment you were striving for in the first place.  Probably neither you nor your children will remember that you took several pictures until you got the right one.

photographing kids

Me Ra shares all sorts of pro tips like that in this book.  Stuff for those of us who need help with settings so we can capture the spontaneous, and tips about … >> 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!

Hosting An Art Party For Kids

This post is sponsored by Target. More Turtles, More Bold and Daring Fun: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Target.

art party for kidsArt is a part of my daily life.  It just is.  Remember how I told you my son’s life passions all lead back to art?  Art, art projects, new ideas, and collections of a random assortment of feathers and rocks and random paraphernalia for new collaborations make their way into my house every single day.  So I thought it would be fun to throw an art party for some kids, friends of my son, to celebrate some of his favorite artists. We held our party mid-summer, but this turned out so fun it would also be great for a birthday or end-of-summer bash.

We looked to the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the artists they represent, for inspiration for our art party. Also, they lend some serious street cred to the event.  Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael, all artists of the Renaissance period in Europe.

I set up four different art stations so the kids could rotate through each one and try different techniques while learning a bit … >> 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!

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How To Make the Most of a Disneyland Weekend

How to Make the Most of a Disneyland Weekend | Petit ElefantDisneyland is called the Happiest Place on Earth, and my family is not disagreeing.

After taking our very first trip to the West Coast park last summer, I’ve been back solo four times since, which translates to some pretty good tips to help you make the most of each visit.

And just as I did in my Walt Disney World post, I focused on basic ways you can make a long weekend at the parks that much more pixie dusted for your family. Bonus: Disneyland is a lot smaller than Walt Disney World, which means hitting a lot more attractions before the kids start getting tired.

How to Make the Most of a Disneyland Weekend | Petit ElefantDisneyland is always busy, making it a little tricky to figure out when the very best time to visit might be. That being said, the least busy times (it’ll still be crowded) are the first few weeks of December. The Christmas decorations are out and the general merriment in the air is awesome. Other “slower” times are usually when school is first back in session (excluding any school holidays or three-day weekends), early January, just before most schools start Spring Break, and almost any time mid-week (Tuesday-Thursday).

There are three themed hotels on property at Disneyland – Disney’s Grand … >> find out more...

Pilar

A native of Chile with deep Chicago roots, Pilar and geekdom have been mutually exclusive since tight-rolled jeans and slap bracelets were in fashion, making it rather fitting she married a Star Wars nerd, made two nerdlets, and became the world’s okayest mom. An award-winning writer, social media strategist, photographer and geeky pop culturalist, her commentary has appeared in and on some cool sites like Babble, CNN, Huffington Post, Yahoo and Fandango (where she's Contributing Editor of the Family Room).

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