3 Fashionably Patriotic Outfits

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We’re feeling patriotic over here, because isn’t the 4th of July the best? It’s probably one of my all-time favorite holidays. I love dressing up in red, white, and blue and celebrating with friends and family all day long! Look totally cute and stylish while still being patriotic with some inspiration from these 3 outfits that will WOW!

The “Casual Cute Parade” Outfit:

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The “Lounging By The Pool”: Outfit:

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Rachel Utterback

Time to Stand + Have Uncomfortable Conversations

It’s time to have a conversation about race.  And it might be uncomfortable, but it’s time to stand up and start the discussion.

I can’t sit back for one more minute and hear some of the things that are being said by my white friends and neighbors and perfect strangers about black people in America today.

I know you mostly come to Petit Elefant for fluffy, fun recipes and beauty DIY’s and tutorials but today we’re having a serious, badly needed discussion about race.  If you don’t like it, feel free to skip it and wait for tomorrow’s post.  But I do hope you’ll stick around and read to the bottom, because figuring out how to stanch the bleeding is going to take all of us.

 

cousins

Let’s start by stating the obvious:  I’m white.  A super lily-white Mormon girl from the actual middle of Utah.  I grew up in a super wealthy neighborhood in Orem, Utah whose population is primarily educated white Mormons.  My school classes in elementary school were filled with all white kids, and mostly white teachers and administrators, (except for my Spanish-Immersion teachers, most of whom were from Mexico).  I attended a super elite private school … >> 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!

Orange + Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Recipe

 orange + lemon poppy seed muffin recipe
Orange + lemon poppy seed muffins are on the menu today, and hooray for that because they are the tastiest muffins I've ever eaten.  Seriously. If you have a couple lemons and oranges kicking around the fruit bowl, all you need to add to those is a little bit of poppy seed and some basic pantry ingredients and you're halfway to citrus heaven.
   

Orange + Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Recipe

Can we talk about poppy seeds for a minute?  I've always loved a good poppy seed muffin, I mean really, who doesn't?  But Eastern Europeans LOVE THEM some poppy.  I don't know what it is about poppy seeds, but my husband's mother, our Babcia, sends boxes upon boxes of poppy seeds after a visit to Poland.  I'm not really sure what we're supposed to do with all of them, but I really truly, actually have about 5 pounds of poppy seeds sitting in my kitchen cupboards.  So if any of you are jonesing for some, you know where to find me.  I'm down to 2 tablespoons shy of 5 pounds after making these muffins, so I have plenty left for you.
   

Poppyseed Muffins

Anywho. These muffins are seriously heaven.  They're dense + moist … >> 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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Shellac Nails

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Do you know what my favorite beauty tricks are? Low-maintenance ones. So, concerning the love and care that nice-looking nails require, I often come up short – literally. I am a notorious nail-biter. Sometimes it’s absent minded, other times it’s stress related, but either way the only time I really seem to kick the horrible habit is when my nails are painted.

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This polish is 3 weeks old.

Nail-painting itself is not an easy endeavor, and common polish always chips off your hands within days (and yet, somehow, pedicures could withstand a nuclear war without even a blemish.) Gel and acrylic nails often require too long a commitment, they damage your nails, and leave your hands looking more mangled than glamorous when they come off.

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This is after I removed the shellac (on my own, and without acetone).

Fortunately, there is a happy in-between manicure solution: Shellac. And gals, it’s the bomb. The substance Shellac is a blend of gel and polish. It is applied like a polish and so it can’t be used to extend your nail, but it does add strength and durability. In the long term, Shellac is much less harmful to nails than gels and acrylics, and it … >> find out more...

elliepeek

20 years old, and deeply happy to be alive. I am an aspiring writer, maybe-lawyer, and human being. I am an English major at Brigham Young University. I write a heavy bit of poetry, and eat a heavy bit of Indian food. I lived in Germany for a bit, but currently call Utah my home. I want to travel as much as time and cash will permit, in this short and spectacular life - and look good while doing it.

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Making Babies and Eating Curry in Thailand

Making Babies and Eating Curry in Thailand

I got pregnant with my oldest in a bamboo hut in a refugee camp on the borders of Myanmar and Thailand. We were working with Karen refugees that were chased out of Myanmar for their beliefs. Now they resided in a camp managed by the Thai government. We were welcomed there but still had to abide by the rules. One of those rules was lights out at 7 PM. Not much to do in a dark bamboo hut after 7 PM, if you know what I mean. Cue lesson in the birds and the bees. Like a Cabbage Patch Kid, we joke with our oldest that we’re going to get “Made in Thailand” inked on his rear. Nothing puts red on the cheeks faster than telling your child where he was conceived. Parents are, like, so embarrassing.

That was the beginning of our six week trek across Thailand. Newly pregnant, I had nothing to show for it except waves of nausea that crept in at the most inopportune times. Everyone told me the best part about Thailand was the food. They were all liars. Cashew coconut chicken curry turned my stomach like nobody’s business. Comfort food was nowhere to be found. … >> 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.

How to Rock a Sale

If your summer plans include hitting up every great sale that comes along, it’s time you had some training. Might sound silly, but trust me, if you go into a sale with a plan and a purpose, you come out at the other end quicker, happier, and significantly less broke. Let’s eighty-six the buyer’s remorse, mmkay?

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There are too many summer “blow-outs” to keep track of, but a personal favorite of mine is the “Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual” which is happening right now! How do I survive that explosion of lace, sequins, and smelly body lotion? These are seven tips and tricks that I have picked up by working in retail and by indulging in (sometimes over-indulging in) sales myself, with pictures from my last semi-annual haul.

  • Know what you want. Check online and see what you are looking for, before you go. I always start with the basics: “I’m looking for a nude bra, black bra, and pajamas.”

 

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  • Go early! You are not the only one looking to take advantage of half-priced heaven, but you can be one of the few early birds.
  • Be prepared to budge. Sometimes the store will be out of the exact item you imagined,
>> find out more...

elliepeek

20 years old, and deeply happy to be alive. I am an aspiring writer, maybe-lawyer, and human being. I am an English major at Brigham Young University. I write a heavy bit of poetry, and eat a heavy bit of Indian food. I lived in Germany for a bit, but currently call Utah my home. I want to travel as much as time and cash will permit, in this short and spectacular life - and look good while doing it.

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10 Fathers Day Gifts Under $50

Fathers Day is coming, like, soon. Anyone else struggling to find an awesome/hip/modern/cool gift for Dad this Father’s Day? In my opinion, finding presents for men is not easy! Maybe my husband is rather fussy, and  I can never get just the right gift for him. But don’t you worry- I’ve done my research this year and I think I’ve found 10 perfect gifts for Father’s Day. All of these gifts are man-approved and won’t break the bank. Check them out and see for yourself!

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1. “Your Baby’s First Word will be DADA” from Amazon: You had me at Jimmy Fallon. I love that he wrote this funny children’s book for all the  new dads out there that want their baby’s first word to be “Dada!” So cute.

2. Homeowners Tool Set from The Home Depot: These tools will help get the job done! Every dad needs a good convenient set of tools that will come in handy for those everyday household projects.

3. Sriracha2Go: Does your Dad/Husband/Guy in your life love Sriracha sauce as much as mine does? If so, there is a 100% chance that this gift is PERFECT for him.

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4. Photobook from Printstagram>> find out more...

Rachel Utterback

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The Positive Side of Load Shedding

My family and I moved to South Africa in 2007. Besides a 2 year hiatus, we’ve held the title of “foreign national” for eight years strong. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way I’ve tried to make my American culture fit into a land that thinks so differently. Bottom line is, it doesn’t. There are days that I like to think I’ve adapted and changed to this different culture. Then load shedding hits, and it all goes to pot.

Load Shedding

What is load shedding, you may ask?

South Africa does not have enough power to run the country. We won’t get into the reasons of why. In order to compensate, we have regular power outages, usually lasting about two hours and usually in the evening when day has given way to night, and it’s just plain dark outside.

Those are days that I get grumpy. You know why? It’s inconvenient. I have to go all the way to the cabinet to pull out the lanterns. Sometimes it happens while I’m cooking dinner, and I can’t even see what I’m throwing in the pot. So  metimes I forget to charge my phone leaving me unconnected from the world. Gasp. Sometimes … >> 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.

Summer Grapefruit Citrus Cooler Drink

summer grapefruit citrus cooler drink

I love grapefruit!  Grapefruit has been an acquired taste for me, honestly.  Anytime my mom bought it when I growing up, I protested as a matter of course, but the older I’ve gotten the more I can appreciate the tartly sweet citrus for the tasty business it is.  I still like to mix grapefruit with other flavors when I can, and sometimes when I eat one by itself I add a small spoonful of honey to maximize the awesome.

So you can imagine how much I love a good grapefruit drink then. I like it, I like it a lot.  (name that movie)  A bubbly grapefruit drink with lemons, cranberry juice and a sprig or two of mint?  Fuhgetaboutit.  Heaven.  Even if you’re not a huge grapefruit aficionado, I think this drink might appeal to you.

I’m just saying.

 

summer grapefruit citrus cooler

The glorious thing about this drink recipe is that you can make it with or without alcohol, and you can sweeten it or leave it a bit tart, depending how you like your drinks.

 

summer grapefruit citrus cooler

I like a tiny bit of sweet to counteract the tart, but I didn’t add any sugar to this recipe.  If you like … >> 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!

Comments are off for this post