Hawaii please be my best friend

One of the earliest memories of my childhood, from the wee baby age of two, is that of my parents and grandparents leaving for a trip to Hawaii.  Without me.  It was 1979 and the memory is still crystal clear: on my parent’s old gravel driveway under the carport, I wove in and out of all the adult legs I could find, pleading my case for a tropical vacation while the grown-ups loaded suitcases into the old Volkswagen.

I was two.

Hawaii'an beach

They left me of course, even though I promised I could be super quiet on the plane, that I would sit completely still on my grandfather’s lap the whole way there.  I promised I wouldn’t eat very much food, and proffered my deep love for the mysterious unseen land of Hawaii.  I tearfully explained to my grandfather that if my little sister, my non-stop-screaming-brand-new-infant-sister was going to Hawaii with the grown-ups, I should be going too.  I quietly vowed to him that I wouldn’t even cry at all.

My grandfather locked sad eyes with me as the car backed out of the long driveway, waving and honking as he and my grandmother, my parents and my screeching newborn sister … >> 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!

And then I went to Hawaii

You guys, major major Life List stuff has been happening around these parts recently.  None of which feels real, because I’m not the sort of person whose life has been filled with exotic vacations up to this point.  Growing up, my family’s version of vacation was tent camping next to the Harley gang at the KOA in Reno.  Seriously, true story.

I don’t even have the vocabulary to express my gratitude to be in a time and place in my life where this kind of stuff is happening, but I’ll try to get it all out.  Not today though.  Today I’m so swollen I can barely open my eyes and have cankles/tree stumps where my feet used to be.  I can’t get shoes on my feet today, so I’m going to rest up.  I have a lot to tell you when I get back on my feet.

I went to Hawaii

Between Costa Rica and my quick jaunt last week to the North Shore of Hawaii I feel like I’m in a medicated dream, albeit a really, really great one.  Catch you on the flip side.

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!

Love Feast: Mother’s Tree of Life Giveaway

Winner:

My most favorite mother’s day memories are the annual bike rides we took. I went from a seat on the back of my mom’s bike, to my own with training wheels, to a 10-speed, and we could reflect on my growth each year. To my mom, a great memory with her children was better than any gift, but because I can’t physically be with her, I’d love a way to represent the growth my brother and I have made through the years. -Amanda

I’m bumping this one to the top again because it doesn’t look like many of you have had the chance to enter!  Check out the pretty necklace + comment to enter a chance to win!

Mother’s Day plans yet?  Love Feast has a gift idea for you, even if you haven’t made plans yet.

If you’re looking for something for your mother, grandmother or yourself Love Feast Table is giving away a wonderful heirloom gold or silver Tree of Life necklace.  This tree necklace is weaved with birthstones and would make the perfect gift for someone special to you.  Including you.  (I won’t tell)

Tree of Life necklace

 Giveaway details:

  • Leave a comment to enter the
>> 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!

What’s in your purse series week 83

This week’s What’s in Your Purse Series purse is from Erica.  Thanks Erica!

what's in your purse

If you love this series and want more of it, submit your purse. Take two photos of your purse {NICE, CLEAR, NOT-BLURRY ONES} one of the outside, one of the inside, along with a listing of the contents to:

allison AT petitelefant DOT com

 

what's in your purse series week eighty-three
what's in your purse series
Contents:

  • Android phone (not pictured-taking picture)
  • Wallet
  • Ear buds
  • Bread tie (random!)
  • Jo-Ann’s coupons
  • Two notebooks
  • Band aids from Urgent Care my son visited for stitches twice in 3 months
  • Sunglasses
  • Chap stick, 2 Lip glosses, Eyeliner
  • Pen
  • Kindle Fire
  • Lotion (Lemon Watkins is the best!)
  • Knock off Swiss Army Knife
  • Altoids
  • Daughter’s ponytail holder

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 your own acne cream

I am at the mercy of all things beauty related, especially when it comes to skincare.  More specifically, I’m at the beck-and-call of every bit of acne that showed up 20 years too late.  I’m a hot mess of hormonal imbalance and my poor, poor face has taken the brunt of it all.

how to make acne cream

I didn’t have bad skin in high school, or even in college for that matter;  my skin practically glowed through all the angsty years of my youth.  But I guess the hormone riddled, teenage acne of my past has been lying in wait for some payback, because ALL the combined acne of my life knocked on my door right after kid #2 showed up a few years ago, ready to party.

Yay!  Party at my house.  Bring your favorite Trapper Keeper, Cabbage Patch Kid and all your colored Swatch watches.  We’ll watch Full House and a little bit of Truth or Dare, if we’re lucky, and trade jelly bracelets.  Maybe crimp each others’ hair if we stay up late enough, so be sure to bring a couple cans of Aqua Net.

how to make your own acne cream

Seriously though, there are so many recipes you can whip up at home to … >> 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 only food photography book you need

Almost exactly a year ago one of the loveliest people on the planet, my sweet friend Helene Dujardin of the blog Tartlette, wrote a book.  A food photography book called Plate to Pixel.  In fact, she wrote the only food photography book you need.  Ever, in the world.  Period.

Seriously.

food photography book

Photography is tricky for me.  It isn’t intuitive to me like it is to other people, so I’m constantly searching for sources to help a sister out.  I search the interwebs high and low for tutorials, hints, tricks, tips, what to do, what NOT to do.  In the end I shoot about 15 photos for every 1 I use in a post, and even then I’m not super satisfied. It’s something I’m always working on, always, always, always, but am nowhere close to mastering.

Enter Helene Dujardin.  In her book, Plate to Pixel, she holds your hand step-by-step through the process of photography.  Helene explains things in a way I’ve never thought to explore, simply enough for a confused girl like myself to understand.

the only food photography book you need

I keep Helene’s book by my bed and read snippets in the 5 minutes before I fall asleep at night, and I’m telling … >> 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!

Best veggie fruit smoothie ever

best veggie smoothie

I started eating vegan several months ago, and quickly discovered the easiest way to get all the fruits and veggies I need is to make at least one veggie fruit smoothie a day.  I really can’t tell you how much better I feel eating so many fruits and vegetables while skipping the meat and cheese.  It’s amazing honestly, and it’s really helped my stupid Lupus.  Smoothies have become my besties, and I’m always experimenting with new combinations of veggies and fruit so I don’t get sick to death of what I’m eating.

You would too if you had to pass on the Gouda.

best veggie smoothie ever

I’m happy to tell you this smoothie, this recipe I’m sharing with you today, is the best veggie fruit smoothie ever.  Sure it’s not rocket science, but the right combination is enough to make me happy for a while.

I’m easy to please I guess.

best veggie smoothie ever

Here’s what you need to make the best smoothie you’ll taste all week.  Month.  No.  This is totally the best you’ll taste all year.

Best fruit veggie smoothie ever:

  • handful of spinach
  • whole apple, cored but not peeled
  • handful of kale
  • 1 carrot, peeled (you really don’t have to peel,
>> 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 time I found myself in Costa Rica

Today is the first day in 2 weeks I’ve used a clock except for checking to see if it’s time for: surf lessons, a waterfall hike, dinner, lunch, or pool time.  It’s also the first time in a couple weeks I’ve known what day of the week it is and that it’s still April.

My family just got back from Costa Rica and I’m the most relaxed I’ve been in about 15 years.

The time I found myself in Costa Rica

I’m not telling you this to be obnoxious, but to remind myself how important it is to take a big fat step back once in a while.  It doesn’t even have to be a big fat step back to Costa Rica (although I highly recommend it), but just a little time to contemplate.  I’ve been dedicated to this blog for almost 5 years now, and it’s always at the back of my mind.  Is what just happened to me worth a post?  Would my readers like this recipe?  What new trend should I try for a DIY beauty tutorial?

Costa Rican beach

I can honestly say that while I was in Costa Rica I didn’t think about my blog.  I didn’t think about email or deadlines or 14 hour … >> 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!

Dear children, be whatever you want

Dear children,

I know you’re still small, that you’re growing into your feet and arms, and long, long legs.  I know you don’t have to decide right now who you want to be when you grow up, or what you want to do with your life.  Right now I’m spending a lot of time thinking about you when I fall asleep at night, when I wake up in the morning, and when I’m at stoplights.

In fact, I spend almost all of my consciousness thinking about you and your happiness in this life.  I worry a lot about making sure you eat the right kinds of foods to make your little bodies strong, and I think a lot about you making friends at school so you’re not alone on the playground.  But mostly I think about how I want you to learn how to be good, kind little humans.  And no matter what, I want you to learn to be happy.  Now, and especially when you grow up.  I want you to be whatever you want to be, as long as it makes you feel completely awesome about getting out of bed every day.

dear children, be whatever you want

Baby Girl, you made me 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!