Thank You For Being Awesome

THANK YOU.

Thank You For Being Awesome

Seriously, thank you the most.  From the deepest place in my heart, thank you.  It’s a bit scary to put yourself out there, really super out there, like I did last week when I wrote about how I’m figuring out the purpose of life.  Being vulnerable is awesome, and also terrifying, but you made it terrifyingly awesome by your response to me opening up.

Thank you for all the texts, comments, and emails about how that post resonated with you. You’re pretty much the best. Of all time.

SO MANY of you are where I am right now: sick of being overstimulated and exhausted, led around by the collar on the leash of our fabulous new electronic age.  It was super reassuring to hear from those of you who feel this stress and want to do something about it. Because we can.  Do something about it, that is.

I’m super stoked to tell you my life is less and less stressful, and more purposeful and happier every day.  I’ll totally share with you the things I’m doing to make it so.  It’s super easy and hard at the same time, and my life is so much … >> 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!

Epic Lip Sync Battles Are My Guilty Pleasure

I’ll just put this out there: epic lip sync battles are my new guilty pleasure. In case you aren’t familiar with this viral sensation, they started out as a segment on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and have since exceeded all expectations. Guests like Will Ferrel, Blake Shelton, and Emma Stone brought down the house, as does Jimmy Fallon himself on more than one occasion. Seriously guys, it’s some pretty hysterically funny stuff. Emma Stone kills it in this episode here, but the Will Ferrel and Kevin Hart episode was also a riot.

And it just got better. Jimmy pitched his idea for an entire show just for lip sync battles, and NBC rejected it. Spike TV however (I know, I know) has taken it up and I can’t stop watching. Please don’t judge me. LL Cool J is the host, Chrissy Teigen is the eye candy, and the contestants are tearing it up. Anne Hathaway vs. Emily Blunt! Dwaye Johnson (“The Rock”) vs. Jimmy Fallon!  I can’t decide if it’s comedy or talent show, but I don’t really care. It’s one show my husband and I pull up via our streaming service and binge on together, without thinking … >> 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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On Books and Figuring Out the Purpose of Life

This post was meant to be about the books I’m loving reading right now, but it evolved into a post I’ve been writing in my head for a long, long time.  It’s about reading and books as much as it’s about living, and figuring out the purpose of life.  It’s patently obvious to me in retrospect that figuring out the purpose of life, at least for me, lies in reading the words of others as they reflect myself back to me.

 

Allison Czarnecki

Recently, as I’ve taken stock of my life, trying to live in a more purposeful, careful, happy and healthy way, I’ve gotten back to reading.  Somehow over the years of building this blog I’ve neglected two major things that used to be critically important to the happiness and well-being of my life: reading and exercise.  Over the last several months I’ve carefully evaluated all the things that do and don’t make me happy.  I’ve literally made dozens of lists with pros and cons, yes’s and no’s.  Friendships that have to go, foods I have to get serious about eliminating, habits I need to break.  And also, things I need in my life.  Things like long lunches with happy … >> 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!

Document Your Travels With Your Camera

DocumentTravelsI figure there’s two categories of people when it comes to visually documenting life’s memories…the ones who take a photo of everything and the ones who have a thick layer of dust on the camera sitting on the shelf. I fall into the former category. The food we ate at Brick Lane in London? Captured it. My son’s first airplane ride? Captured that, too. Standing in line at Leo Burdock’s in Dublin? Got it. The bike my husband test drove down the streets of London? Click. Why? Because it’s the little moments that you think you will remember, but I got news for you. You won’t. You think you’ll never forget, but as new memories invade your thinking cap, the only thread keeping the old ones there are visual reminders.

Make the fleeting moments last forever. Take a visual snapshot.

document your travels

There’s two reasons I value documenting your travels with your camera.

1. They tell a story that needs to be passed down. My husband and I traveled a lot before we had kids. Typically, twelve weeks out of the year we were traveling. We visited some awesome places like Thailand, Norway (in the dead of Winter, mind you), … >> 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.

Planning a DisneyWorld Vacation Part 2

DisneyWorld ResortsPart 2 of this series is all about booking a resort/hotel. I want to start packing my bags right this minute.  From day one of our planning process we  saved and budgeted to stay at a DisneyWorld resort.  I’m admittedly biased here, but I’m happy to say that there are plenty of other decent options nearby with a good relationship with Disney. So, don’t let my biases deter you from going at all! For today, though, I’m giving my reasons for loving the Disney resorts so much that I schedule time into our trip to just to enjoy our hotel. I mean resort.

1. The service really is better. I’ve stayed at non-Disney resorts here before, and they are fine. Really! They often cost a little less, but the service, cleanliness and atmosphere just don’t quite compare to the Disney resorts.  Staying at a Disney resort only adds to your total experience, with bonuses like extended park hours, Fast Pass perks, and the little “pixie dust” touches, like impromptu visits with favorite characters. Read: no standing in line for hugs from Goofy!

DisneyWorld Resorts  Goofy

2. Convenience. All the Disney resorts offer frequent complimentary shuttles to the parks.  From some resorts you … >> 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.

DIY Make A Simple Chalk Board Frame

Today’s DIY: make a simple chalk board frame!

DIY make your own chalkboard

I’ll admit, I’m a bit obsessed with chalkboards.  I don’t care if they’re trendy or not in the home decor world, I love them. (are they still trendy?  I’m so behind!) I love the idea of painting an entire wall or the inside of a door with chalk, with a little cup of chalk nearby for random doodling.  How fun is that?

About 5 years ago I painted the inside of my pantry door with chalk, and have loved it every minute.  I use the chalkboard door as both a place to jot down a grocery list and to post a weekly menu, and my kids use the bottom half to chalk funny quotes only they understand, or the occasional drawing of a farm animal.  Just the usual stuff around here, I tell you.

But I’m also super enthused about the idea of a portable chalk board wall.  And the most inexpensive way for me to do that was to paint a framed piece of glass with chalk board paint and hang the frame anywhere I want.  Whenever I want.   (we’re big on making our own choices at my house)  So I went … >> 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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Keeping my Grandmothers Close

Remembering GrandmothersAre you close to your grandmothers? I always think of my Grandma Bee at this time of year. Her birthday is in April, she loved flowers, her fluffy white hair looked like a puff of cloud on her dainty noggin. Just like her mother’s before her. She was a sweet little thing. She’s been gone for over a decade, but lately I find myself missing her more than ever. Missing all my grandmothers and great aunties and the ladies that came before me. I have an aching sort of need to know them better and learn from them. To share the stories of my own little children with them, seek their advice and wisdom.

It’s not possible now, of course, they’ve all gone back to Heaven, right where they belong. So I’m finding connections, comfort in the tangible things they left behind.

Grandmother's QuiltMy great grandmother I never really knew; I met her once or twice when I was very small and she was very old and infirm,  During my last visit to my mom’s house, I found this quilt in her linen closet and quickly begged it off of her. It has a story, but I only know a small … >> 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.

DIY Springtime Watercolor Art

DIY Watercolor FlowersAlright, here is some art for the artistic and non-artistic alike. Now, I was a student who elected to take art classes (Art 2, Art 3, AP Art – you name it), but in my mandatory high school “Art 1” class, we used to have “blind contour days.” Blind contours are fun and simple; so, with my love of watercolor in one hand and my love of poppies in the other – I am going to tell you how to make an easy, springtime work-of-art.diy watercolor flowers

You are going to need:

  • Watercolor paints
  • Waterproof pen
  • Watercolor paper
  • A printed black & white flower picture (with clear lines)
  • Paint brushes

Don’t get discouraged if things aren’t looking the way you planned at first! Thinking about the end result can sometimes be daunting, so just focus on each step, one at a time:

diy watercolor flowers
  1. Search online a bit for an outline or sketch of your favorite flowers. I chose poppies this time because their shape and structure is fun to draw. Sunflowers are also a great choice. Pick a flower with moxie.diy watercolor flowers
  2. Print out that picture and set it near your sketchpad, now keep your eyes on that printout. Blind contour is about is
>> 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.

The Longest Ride Movie and Ariat Giveaway

The Longest Ride

***UPDATE: Our randomly generated winner is #71, Chrysula! Congrats, you lucky gal! Please contact us via email directly so we can get you all hooked up with your boots. Thank you, to every one who entered. I feel some definitely cowboy-boot-love solidarity with all of you!

Do you have a soft spot for cowboys, cowboy boots, books movies, or love stories? Yes, you do. And you’ll want to pay attention here. You’ve seen the trailers for The Longest Ride from 20th Century Fox, right? It’s Nicholas Sparks’ latest novel-turned movie, and it features dreamy cowboys and young romance and all the things we love about a good chick flick. Plus we have a giveaway. For you.

Longest Ride

The Longest Ride is the love story of Luke, a former rodeo champ looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student about to start her dream job in the art world New York City.  Their goals will bring inevitable conflict as Sophia and Luke are inspired by Ira, an aging widower who recounts his own lifelong love story. Better bring tissues. You’ll need them for those moments when you aren’t swooning over Luke’s have-mercy-on-me good looks.

Take a good look at those … >> 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.