The “four” hour drive from Kampala to Gulu, Northern Uganda was more like eight due in part to dusty, potholed roads that had seen better days. The outside breeze rushing through the windows in the big, nasty, dirty bus barely offered any respite from the humid air that kept my back in a perpetual state of wet. Over the eight hour journey, my bright white top turned a new shade of earth that no amount of bleach could help. All I could do was smile. I loved it. Uganda. Africa.
We reached our cozy hotel that was to be home for the next week. An attempted shower to wash my dirt streaked face and make sense of my tangled hair was almost more than I could handle. This girl was exhausted. The bed shouted my name, and I gave in.
Dino was our destination the next morning, a two hour journey from Gulu town in Uganda. I don’t think any amount of sleep could have prepared me for what the day brought. Let me set the scene for you.
Mud huts with thatched roofs.
Green, green rows of corn stalks.
Kids wearing tattered clothing and looking at this mzungu like … >> find out more...
It’s like a double whammy for clothes shopping: plus size petite. Ugh. Let me explain. In fashion-lingo the word “petite” means under 5’4″. At 5’2″ I easily fall into that category. Finding clothing for a petite woman can be difficult, but for a plus sized petite woman? It’s nearly impossible. With regular length pants, I can wear heels and make them work. Otherwise they’re simply too long (see my favorite pair of slacks, below). With a dress or a blouse sized for an average woman? I simply have to deal with extra fabric in the torso since the narrowest part of the garment, the waist, hits closer to my hips. It’s that or take them to a tailor. The last thing we curvy gals want is excess fabric at our narrowest parts!
Thank goodness online retailers offer more options for plus size petites than are found in stores. Here are the sites I’ve found that offer petites for curvy women. And you can see in the photos what really great-fitting clothes can do for your figure!
Talbots Heritage Seasonless Wool Straight-Leg Pants / Talbots Polished Sleeveless Dress / Talbots Seasonless Crepe Flounced Skirt
Talbot’s - While it may be … >> find out more...
A skillet lasagna, made with mushrooms and spinach? Yes please. It’s a dreamy vegetarian dish made in (nearly) one pot, which means less dishes and easier clean-up. The truth? You need two for this recipe, so it’s almost a one-pot dinner. But you’ll forgive the extra pan when you taste this! It comes together very quickly and makes for an incredible dinner. Skillet lasagna is all the rage. I actually did not know this. But it makes tons of sense, right? It’s lasagna that cooks on the stove top in lieu of all the steps and layering everything into a pan and waiting for it to bake.
Think of this version as a cross between stroganoff and lasagna. It has a whopping 20 ounces of cremini mushrooms that give it HUGE mushroom flavor. If you like mushrooms, I guarantee you’ll love this. My family went crazy for it. A word of caution – there’s nothing skinny about this. And you can feel good about that now that Science says a little fat is okay, right? (I think I heard that on NPR.)
Hey, I’m also looking out for you. If you want this to truly be a one-pot skillet lasagna, … >> find out more...
Lots of news in the world today: Putin is still being the dictator he is and is escalating his crimes upon Ukraine (and most of the rest of the developed world, heaven help us all), there are 200 schoolgirls missing in Nigeria who’ve reportedly been kidnapped and sold into marriage, and on a less-serious-but-still-rather-heavy-for-my-heart-matter, David Beckham is still retired from the game of soccer. Why can’t he pull a Michael Phelps and (allegedly) come out of retirement already?
April has been a long, horrible month, and I’m really ready to move into May wherein there’s hope of a gentler future. I’m an eternal optimist, if nothing else. I haven’t talked about it much (at all) on the blog, but have shared tidbits of what’s going on behind the scenes at my house, over on Instagram, (I’m @petit_elefant).
My 14-year-old daughter has been super, super sick for almost 2 months and no one knows what’s wrong with her. Baby girl has been throwing up dozens of times a day (and sometimes more) for 7 weeks straight but no one seems to be able to fix her. We’ve been to the Emergency Room more times than we can count, and all sorts … >> find out more...
You know what I like more than almost anything else? Accessories. I really, really, rilly love me some accessories, don’t you?
Cool, bold jewelry and accessories can take an outfit from meh to bangin’ in the time it takes to slide each piece onto your hot body. Think about it; if you’re wearing regular jeans and a tee but you throw on a statement necklace and some boss rings, topped off by a cool watch, forget it. Game over, hands down, you win Outfit Wars.
(assuming Outfit Wars are waging across the globe)
I love a good DIY accessory, like these How to Geometric Earrings and this DIY Sequin Bracelet as much as I love this DIY Hardware Bracelet, and I’ve never met a chunky ring I didn’t love immediately. I mean, for heaven’s sake, I hardly enough jewelry storage for all my goodies.
But wood. Have you ever worn wood jewelry? I fell in love with (and purchased a stupid amount of) a bunch of statement rings made entirely out of wood when we went to Costa Rica as a family a couple years ago, and I’ve been buying up wood jewelry as fast as my little hands … >> find out more...
Ask anyone at our house, and they’ll tell you they’d rather be at Walt Disney World eating the ears off a Mickey ice cream bar right about now.
20 trips to our “second home” since 2007 have taught us a few things about making the most of each visit, and for this post, I focused on tips and insider secrets that will make spending a long weekend (Thursday-Sunday) at the parks that much more pixie dusted for your family.
The very best time to visit Walt Disney World is mid-week during the off-season. That’s basically the last two weeks in September through the first two weeks in October. Not only is it still warm and sunny, but the crowds are significantly smaller than in the middle of summer. Bonus: Amazing Halloween decorations.
There are 23 themed hotels on property at Walt Disney World, situated around the four main parks – Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Staying at one of these hotels during your visit is a must in my book, since you get a lot more perks.
Obviously, it’s important to consider price and location, but Disney does offer attractive hotel/dining packages throughout the year. Hotels are categorized deluxe, … >> find out more...
In my 20 years of jet setting all over the world, I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two about packing for a trip. From one night overnights to a few months of country hopping during different seasons, I’m pretty sure I could pack a bag with my eyes closed. Ok, maybe not, but nonetheless, here a few essential packing tips that have helped me make the process smoother.
1. Make a list. Some people are natural list makers. Others are not. I’m a list maker. My husband is not. You know what happens every.single.time? He over-packs. Thinking through what you need and don’t need and then writing it down will most certainly help protect you against over-packing. If I’m going on a very long trip, I usually bring enough clothes for 5 days and plan on hitting up a laundry-mat. That’s a personal preference as I tend to like traveling light. Another option is hand-washing in a sink somewhere.
2. Allow room for souvenirs. This might be the most fun of all the packing tips on the list. Chances are you are going collect some things along the way. Make sure there is room in your bag to … >> find out more...
Our community’s outdoor pool opens later this month. Squee! I can hardly wait. We’ll be purchasing our pool pass then hanging out every day to beat the heat and humidity. Of course, the number one thing on my mind is finding a new suit. So, let’s talk about choosing a truly flattering plus size swimsuit.
Each of us has our own challenges with coverage, support and needs in a swimsuit. Let’s cover four basic concerns and what you should look for in each of those cases when it comes to swim wear.
WAIST NOT, WANT NOT
Just as all plus size bodies are not the same, neither should their swimsuits be. Are you lacking on the curves? Wish you had a more defined waist? Easy! The illusion of a waist can be created by choosing a suit with detail at the waist. Look for a belt (fake or real), or bling across the midsection. Instant waist definition!
BUST IT OUT
Are you busty? Well endowed? (Sheepishly raises hand.) You want to create a silhouette that is balanced rather than top heavy. Halter tops are your best friend. They elongate and your body and provide lots of support. Speaking of … >> find out more...
Whenever I’m feeling uninspired in the arts and crafts department, I usually just need to get a little more organized, and dig through my supplies to get a creative jolt. That’s just what I did this week, and in my need of some purging and cleaning, I cam across some old craft supplies that were begging to be used. My watercolors and this fab gold confetti inspired some last-minute Easter decor, and this cute heart art project. I think it’s perfect to hang in a young girl’s room, or to give as a Mother’s Day gift. Whatever the case may be, this gold confetti art project is easy to recreate, and you can easily get young kids involved with the painting and gluing. Here’s how to make your own watercolor and gold confetti masterpiece.Begin by gathering what you’ll need.
Watercolor paper (make sure it’s nice and thick watercolor paper, do not try and use some other type of plain white paper)
Water color brush & brush for Mod Podge
Gold confetti (you could also use gold glitter if you have it. The point is to use what you’ve got, and make it disco sparkle)
Frame … >> find out more...