Life At The Equator

Life At The Equator

I recently returned from a trip to Kenya where I got to go to the Equator. I’m sure we learned all about the Equator in school, but really my only recollection was that the Equator was the line on the globe that ran through the middle of our continent. When you see the Equator in person, there’s no visible line, but I assure you there’s an imaginary one. Let’s explore, together, life at the Equator. I promise you will find it fascinating.

Since I moved to the Southern Hemisphere, I’ve read about the gravitational pull and how it’s different than the Northern Hemisphere. It really is true that when you flush a toilet in the Southern Hemisphere, the water goes counter-clockwise rather than clockwise like it does in my home country of the USA.

Pouring Water

I was fascinated by the simple science experiment that our friendly Equator guide did for us. Let me indulge you. Standing at the imaginary line Equator sign, we walked about ten meters toward the Northern Hemisphere. He poured water into a bowl with a hole, and we watched it swirl downward in a clockwise direction. We then walked ten meters on the other side of the … >> 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.

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Holiday Gift Guide for Women

 

holiday-gift-guide-for-women

Have you done any holiday shopping yet? If you’re wondering what perfect little gift (or gifts) to get your stylish friend, sister, wife, aunt, etc.- I’ve done the work for you! Starting off our annual holiday gift guide is a round up of lovely surprises that are afforable, practical, and bound to become obsessions.

giftguide1

1. The Original Beauty Blender: The most essential makeup tool makes a thoughtful gift or the perfect stocking stuffer. Or make it an addition to a bundle of beauty favorites, like number 4 on our list.

2. Woven Pear Socks: These might be the cutest socks I’ve ever seen. And did you know fabulous socks are totally a thing? They are. Your gal with the perpetually chilly toes will love them. Get a pair for every day of the week!

3. Anthropologie Mini Candle: This is the best smelling candle in the world. I love the mini size and the gorgeous packaging.

4. Naked Basics Makeup Palette: Perfect the smokey eye with this gorgeous eyeshadow palette. It’s a cult fave for good reason, and ideal for your favorite beauty maven.

5. Large Polka Dot Notebook: What is better than a fresh new notebook? With … >> find out more...

Rachel Utterback

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Christmas Hot Cocoa Bar

DIY Hot Cocoa BarGathering family and friends together is especially wonderful at this time of year. A DIY hot cocoa bar is just the thing for office parties, classroom parties, neighborhood cookie exchanges, church gatherings,  a little celebration with family or friends, or a special treat Christmas morning. Take these tips and whip up your own sweet celebration, because everybody loves a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

Start by designating a serving area for your DIY hot cocoa bar. Since guests will likely serve themselves, it’s most helpful if all the cocoa and fixings can be accessed in one spot, but if your space isn’t flexible, it’s just fine to serve the cocoa from the stove or crock pot and direct guests to the “bar” for all the fancy additions.

DIY Hot Cocoa BarBe sure to have all you supplies to hand in advance. Mugs stacked next to the cocoa, a ladle for serving, napkins and stir sticks nearby, and of course all the fun extras in one place. Don’t worry if your mugs are all mismatched, as mine are. It will just add to the charm of your presentation.

Choose which special extras you’d like most to serve and stick to just 3 or 4 to keep things … >> 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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Home Made DIY Christmas Gifts And Ideas

It’s Christmas time!  And I have so many fun ideas for you to start your celebrations.  DIY Christmas gifts, creative ways to wrap your presents, recipes for flan and wassail and homemade marshmallows, what to wear to all your holiday parties, DIY neighbor gifts, and homemade beauty gifts for everyone you love.

So much holiday fun!

homemade wassail DIY neighbor gift DIY marshmallows DIY citrus scrub present wrapping ideas holiday party style homemade lipgloss eggnog flan DIY foot scrub gift wrapping gifts in a jar DIY balloon ornament orange tea light DIY decorate your christmas tree

Home Made DIY Christmas Gifts And Ideas

>> 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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Favorite Christmas Movies for Families

Christmas Movies

‘Tis the season for snuggling up with your favorite tribe and some favorite Christmas movies. It’s a regular weekend activity at our house during the holiday season, to dust off a favorite Christmas flick, pop some popcorn, and get all comfy cozy on the couch or the bed. Flannel pajamas are optional but strongly recommended.  We’ve assembled a small collection of our family favorites to share with you, so put on your fuzzy slippers and get ready for a holiday movie night.

Disclaimer: I know, Die Hard isn’t on the list. It was a matter of some debate at my house, so feel free to use your own discretion in putting it on your own list of family Christmas movies. I did try to stick with those of our favorites that have the most universal appeal and broad window of age-appropriateness. So now, in no particular order, our own list of quintessential holiday films.

Family Christmas Movies

1. If you don’t like Home Alone, I’m not sure we can be friends. I mean, we can, but maybe not besties. We love it not just for it’s great quote-able lines like “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!” but because it’s just right for all ages and not too saccharine. My … >> 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.

Favorite Homemade Cranberry Sauce

homemade cranberry sauce

If you’ve never made your own cranberry sauce, you’ve been missing out. It’s my most favorite side dish to prepare on Thanksgiving, in part because it’s soon easy, in part because it can be made well in advance of the kitchen madness come mealtime, and in part because it’s so pretty! This recipe is my own favorite homemade cranberry sauce and I’m happy to share it with you today. It’s such as cinch you may never go back to the canned stuff. It’s the perfect, delicious pop of beautiful red color on your dinner table, and the perfect pop of sweetness and tartness to accompany your main event. And on a turkey sandwich the next day? Just so so so delicious. Perfection. So, put that can down. Just put it down, and let’s get saucing.

homemade cranberry sauce

Your ingredients

  • A 12 ounce bag of fresh whole cranberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam–homemade, store bought or seedless, any kind will do
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange
  • Dash each of cinnamon and salt

If you like your cranberries extra sweet, just add a bit more sugar or jam. If you like them a bit spicier, add a bit more cinnamon. … >> 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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This Week Quote Of The Week

This week’s quote of the week is a small soft spot in a sea of fear and anger and sadness.   There’s been so much hateful dialogue across the internet this week in the wake of the terrible tragedy and heartbreak in Paris and other, less reported parts of the world.  When I wrote about my husband’s story as a refugee and why I think it’s our responsibility as fellow humans to help others in times of crisis, I was genuinely shocked by the hate mail I received, and by the mean, bitter comments on Facebook.

I understand that we all have differences.  Different life experiences, different political views, different religions.  I really, genuinely understand fear.  But what I don’t get, and I hope I never do, is hate.  I can’t abide with it.  So, at the end of a long and exhausting week, I leave you with some wise, hopeful words in the form of a Maori proverb.  Have a lovely weekend.

P.S. love always wins.

this weeks quote of the week

Petit Elefant Quote of the Week

 

Turn your face

to the sun

and the shadows

fall behind you.

– Maori Proverb –

 

 

If you’re just starting with this series, or need … >> 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!

Why We Need To Be Open For Refugees

why america has to stay open

My husband is a refugee.  A refugee whose family sought political asylum in the United States in the 1980’s in the face of the stuff of nightmares.  The details are personal, but the bottom line is this: my husband’s life, and the lives of his family were in imminent danger; fleeing the country was the only option.  They had two choices: America or Libya.  They chose America, and the difference in that choice turned out to be everything.

It’s interesting, this thing about refugees.  Syrian refugees.  Brown refugees.  Refugees from “undesirable” places. Refugees of “undesirable” or threatening religious backgrounds.  It’s so easy to hate someone who didn’t get born into your fate.

My husband was young enough when his family escaped from Poland that he doesn’t have an accent.  He doesn’t look that different, unless you get up close and personal.  He seems just like a “regular American guy” because he is.  He’s a dual Polish and American citizen, a process which, despite what you’re probably reading in the news, is not just a matter of “opening doors” for people to pour in.  It’s a lengthy, nightmare of red-tape political process most natural born Americans wouldn’t want to wade … >> 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 A DIY Oatmeal Bath How To

Have you ever made a DIY oatmeal bath? Oatmeal is so great for dry, stressed out, rashy, and irritated skin.  We used to buy the lovely packets made by Aveeno, but they get pricey if you need a soothing oatmeal bath more than once a year, so I made my own DIY oatmeal bath mixture for pennies!

Check it out.

 

how to oatmeal bath

How To Make A DIY Oatmeal Bath

  • 1-2 cups oats (any kind: old fashioned, instant, etc)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • blender

 

Step 1

  • Mix together 1-2 cups of oats.  (Use 3-4 cups if you have a big bathtub)

 

DIY oatmeal bath

Step 2

  • Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to oats.

 

 Step 3

  • Blend oats and baking soda in a blender until they blend into a fine powder.  We use our Ninja Blender to completely puree the oats + baking soda into a really fine, soft powder.

 

oatmeal bath how to

Step 4 (optional)

  • Pour powdered oat + baking soda mix (your new oatmeal bath!) into a porous sachet.

 Step 5

  • Toss sachet into a warm bath (hot water dries the skin out even more – boo!) and let it dissolve completely in the water.  If you don’t want to use a
>> 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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