Tips for good family road trips

Taking a road trip with your family is a little bit like Russian roulette, it’s all fun and games until one of your children kills the other in a weird parking lot just outside Reno.

tips for good family road trips

No, really.

A bad road trip is enough to make anyone risk death at any opportunity.  But if you really plan ahead and prepare for the sort of contingencies that pop up with kids {which is to say all of them}, a road trip can be the most ridiculous fun you’ve ever had.  It’s still my #1 preferred method of family travel.

family road trip

We haven’t ventured too far east in our road tripping but we’ve ventured all across the Western United States in our trusty little Subaru wagon, and I think it’s safe to say we’re road trip veterans at this point.

I’ve made all the rookie mistakes: no crayons for your toddler {they melt in the sun}, juice boxes are like open fire hoses of purple stain, silly putty is a BAD idea, and whipping out your big gun surprise treats in the first 30 minutes of travel sets a bad precedent for the next 72 1/2 hours of driving.

tips for a good family road trip

I’ve made every … >> 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!

Whats in your purse series week 78 party edition

This week’s What’s In Your Purse Series is from Lindsey.  I love this one, thank you!

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

The purse is a Cynthia Rowley Tote-I’ve had it for almost 5 years, it’s well-traveled.

what's in your purse party edition

Items:

  • Small canvas bag (computer cords and chargers)
  • Business card holder
  • Perfume (Bond No 9)
  • Pens
  • iPhone
  • Braun Ion Brush (new BFF)
  • backup iPhone battery
  • Bobbi Brown Gloss in Popsicle
  • Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm
  • Computer glasses
  • Lip Pencil
  • BlogHer Badge (for party entrance!)
  • Polaroid MIO – SO MUCH FUN! (photos from party)
  • Sunglasses
  • Gum
  • Business Cards (mini cards are from Moo)
  • Luna Bar
  • >> 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!

Finding your dream home

*This post was sponsored by HGTV’s House Hunters.  A show I die watching because it makes me want to move everywhere, all the time, always.  See also: anything shown on HGTV is a mortal enemy of my productivity in any capacity.*

If you had the resources to buy a home anywhere in the world, your absolute end-all fantasy dream home, where would you go?  What would you want it to look like?

Honestly.

If you could look at a globe and point to a country, what would it be?  In your heart of hearts, your secret childhood fantasy, where would you move?

how to find your dream home

I have so many tucked away dream home fantasies I almost don’t know where I’d start.  Maybe if I could have 5 or 6 dream homes dotted across the globe I’d feel satisfied.  But no, then I’d realize what’s out there and I’d want endless amounts of homes in every country in the world, just in case I might want to travel there someday. 

There being everywhere.

But I’m betting there’s a place in the corner of your mind you’ve stashed your fantasy home, the place you’ve always wanted to live if you could afford it.  … >> 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!

Holland OPI 2012

It’s technically almost Spring.  Well no that’s a complete lie, it’s not almost Spring, but we’re within spitting distance of some sunshine in our lives, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for some color.

Spring 2012 OPI

Luckily OPI has your back, as they usually do with this sort of thing.  The new Holland OPI 2012 collection is amazing, and choc-a-bloc full of hot new colors for Spring.

I’m personally planning on wearing Red Lights Ahead….Where? on my toes all Summer long.  It’s Gorgeous.

OPI spring collection

The names as always are my favorite.

Left to right:

Kiss me on my Tulips, I don’t give a Rotterdam, Red lights ahead…where?, Gouda Gouda two shoes, Did you ‘ear about Van Gogh?, Vampsterdam

Holland OPI 2012

Clockwise:

Thanks a WindMillion, Pedal faster Suzi!, I have a Herring problem, A roll in the Hague, Dutch ‘ya just love OPI?, Wooden shoe like to know?

OPI Holland 2012

If you’re gearing up for a good manicure, grab one or two of these bad boys and settle in for a night in front of your favorite movie. When it comes to doing your own manicure at home I’ve got your back.

*OPI sent me the Holland collection.  And I’m forever grateful.>> 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!

Easy valentine treat bags

easy valentine treat bags

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, but you know that already.  You’re probably neck deep in chewy red candies at this point and I can’t say I blame you, we get as much Valentine’s candy as we do trick or treating loot around my house.  The kids already have it pouring out of their pockets and we’re still a week out.

There’s only so much a mother can do, you feel me?  And that is to say, not much. 

I’m pulling it out of the wash by the handful.

DIY favor bags

Anyhoo.

Abolishing vast amounts of candy from your life isn’t what I’m preaching today.  Today I’m here to share a quick way to make some easy valentine treat bags.  And by easy I mean you can practically make these bags in your sleep.  Make them for your significant other, your partner, your mother, your sister, your boyfriend, your kids’ class at school.

Make one for your nasty coworker, and one for each of your frenemies, it’s better to keep the sketchy ones close.

valentine's treat bagsSupply list for easy valentine treat bags:

  • heart doilies {you could use plain circle doilies but it’s for VALENTINE’S DAY}
  • plain brown lunch sacks
  • scissors
  • Elmer’s
  • >> 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!

Images from Warszawa Poland

I started composing a huge post today about our family travels to Warsaw, but I can’t quite find the words to adequately express how I feel.  Instead I’m going to break it all down one post at a time in the coming months.

Before I jump into that though, I thought I’d share some images from Warszawa Poland.  That’s how the locals say it: Warszawa, only they don’t say Poland because that’s American-ese, they say Polska.  So it’s actually *garble garble garble Warszawa Poland*.

With lots of the shouting and more shouting.

cobblestone streets

Old town.

hala mirowska

Market.

images from warsaw

Apartments.

images from warsaw locals

Who says you can’t go home again?

image from warsaw

Carnival.

presidential palace

Presidential palace.

university of Warsaw

University gardens.

image from warsaw poland

Downtown view.

crosswalk

Crosswalk.

couple in love

In love.

coca cola

Coca-Cola light.

warsaw poland

Tunnel.

church warsaw poland

Pope John Paul II.… >> 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 77

This week’s What’s in Your Purse Series purse is from Anne.  Thank you!

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

My purse is a basic black bag that my husband bought me about 5 years ago.  The brand is Longchamp and it has held up amazingly.  What’s in it? Until a few minutes ago, I had no idea.
what's in your purse series

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 to wear this Valentine’s Day

Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is coming up.  Don’t throw things at me, I didn’t invent the whole shenanigan.  I just work here.

Love it or hate it, it’s time to get spiffy for a night of romance.  Valentine’s is all about making that perfect love connection, or renewing the one you’ve got, or lounging around in holey sweats and your ex-boyfriend’s t-shirt while you watch romantic comedies with a pint of ice cream in your lap.

It’s your day, whatever.

Let's get it on

I’m not one to pass judgement anyway;  Viktor is firmly in the camp of Valentine haters.  He thinks Valentine’s Day is made up of corporate greed and nonsense, and as such refuses to participate no matter how many tears I cry.  So I make cute little treats for the kids and make a special dessert for dinner and call it a day.

But in the world of Make Believe, the Valentine’s Day in my head is amazing. 

Viktor swoops into the house with flowers and a mix CD of love songs just for me.  He has planned an overnight sleepover for the kids and takes me to my favorite restaurant for a night of flirty nonsense.  >> 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!

Longer lasting lip color

Finding longer lasting lip color is like happening upon a pasture full of unicorns.  It just doesn’t happen.  Everyone talks about it like it’s no big thing,

Oh my amazing lipstick?  My girl at the {muffled muffled, garble garble} counter just keeps it in stock for me.  I don’t even know what it’s called!  *giggle*

long lasting lip color

Liar.

If girlfriend has perfect lipstick all through dinner, she’s got a secret up her sleeve she doesn’t want you to know about.  Especially if you’re frenemies.  Swapping that kind of secret is a thing for insiders only, best friends and sisters.  After that, it’s every woman for herself.

You know I’m always looking out for you though.  You can feel it in your blood, I always have your back.  I wouldn’t want you to {gasp!} go out in public with crackly uneven lip color.  *shudder*

I have a cheap solution for you: Revlon Lip Stain.  This stuff is available at the drugstore, your supermarket, probably the gas station on the corner.  It’s between $5-8 and is worth sacrificing your daily cappuccino.  It’s not meant to replace the hardcore stuff in your purse, but I really like it for day-to-day … >> 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!