Life as an Expat

Catching up with our Travel Editor, Jen Price, and the quirks of living abroad.

Expat Life Title

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “expat,” let me enlighten you. An expat, or expatriate, is simply someone who resides in a country other than the one of their citizenship. My name is Jen, andI’m an expat. My family and I reside in South Africa, and it wasn’t until this last trip to the USA that I realized just how weird the expat life can be.

Although I will never be South African, I have settled in quite nicely to the culture. It is home. So is America, and yet, I find myself having to make mental shifts every time I return to my home country. If you’re an expat, have ever been an expat, or travel extensively, then you will know what I mean. It’s just weird. To get a glimpse into the life of an expat, read the weird challenges I face when I return to the country of my birth.

Expat Life Bikes
  1. Driving takes total concentration. Not only driving, but getting into the car takes mental energy, because we drive on the opposite side in South Africa. I hate it when I’m in a busy
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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 Bath Salts With Lemon And Rosemary

Lemon is having a moment in my life right now.  Which is a euphemistic way of saying, I’m kind of obsessed with everything (everything) lemon.  I don’t know how it happened, but I’ve fallen headfirst and I never want it to end.

 

lemon rosemary bath salt

The thing about lemons is this:

  • they’re pretty to look at
  • they’re delicious
  • they’re so refreshing
  • they’re SO good for you
  • they’re ridiculously multipurpose
  • d, all of the above

 

lemon bath salts

I’m whipping up all sorts of lemon creations in my kitchen right now; to eat, to clean with, and a bunch of recipes for the bath.

My current favorite bath + body concoction is this recipe for lemon + rosemary bath salt.  It smells like fresh summer deliciousness and is actually really detoxifying for your body.  Winning, all around.

 

bath salt

Once you make the lemon + rosemary bath salt (see printable recipe below), pour it into a hot bath and soak for as long as your body can take it.  The lemon and Epsom salts will pull all sorts of bad stuff from your body, and the smell of fresh rosemary mixed in will help maintain your fantasy that you’re actually bathing in the South of … >> 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!

Quote Of The Week Work On Dreams

Dreams! I love this week’s quote. A good dream makes the world tick on from day to day, year after year.  Dreams are what gets us out of hopeless situations into better ones.  Dreams are what make us reach for hard things that feel just a teensy (or a lot) out of the realm of possibility, but often enough turn into reality.  So keep on dreaming, friends. I don’t know about you, but dreams are the reason I get out of bed every day to do the hard work of life.

 

goals

Petit Elefant Quote of the Week

 

Never give up on a dream

because of the time it will take

to accomplish it.

The Time will pass anyway.

– Earl Nightingale –

 

If you’re just starting with this series, or need to catch up, here are all the quotes so far:

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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!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

happy 2016

Hello, hello, and helllllooooo.  How are all of you?  I’m finally back after a very lovely, very long Christmas holiday and am so excited to start the new year.  I have so many fun projects in the works to share with you, along with continuing old projects like the Quote of The Week and Organizing Your House series.  I’d really love to start a makeup + beauty series again, and we have a lot of DIY projects in the works on my house, and I can’t wait to share what we’re working on in the coming months.

I have a new Quote Of The Week coming later today, but I just wanted to pop in and say I hope you had a delightful holiday season.  I really do.  And I can’t wait to jump right into the new year with you!

xoxo,

Allison

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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!

Quick Homemade Christmas Neighbor Gift

Christmas just isn’t Christmas until I’ve made my famous homemade toffee.  It’s gotten to the point where if I don’t make it and hand it out as gifts, my neighbors ask if everything is okay at my house.  It really is that good, but it takes enough butter that I only make it once a year.  It’s my favorite quick, homemade Christmas neighbor gift.  And this year I added caramel popcorn for something a little extra delicious.

neighbor-giftHere’s how the whole thing goes down:

  • Use my homemade toffee recipe to make as many batches of toffee as you need. One batch makes about 1 pound of candy, so I make about 3-4 batches to have enough for about 15 neighbor gifts.  This year I added caramel popcorn to the treat bag.  It not only adds extra deliciousness, it also fills out the bag so the homemade toffee goes a little further.  I got about 20 neighbor gifts out of 3 batches of toffee after I added popcorn.

Everyone wins.

 

homemade-neighbor-gift

 

  • Using any labels you want (I used Martha Stewart labels from an office store) write out your Christmas / holiday message.
  • Stick label to a cellophane bag before filling.
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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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Stocking Stuffers Guide for Grown Ups

If you are stumped on how to fill those stockings for your husband/wife/parent/adult offspring, look no further. We’ve compiled a guide to our favorite stocking stuffers for your favorite grown ups. Let’s start with the gentlemen, shall we?

stocking stuffers for grown ups stocking stuffers for him
  1. His new favorite shaving and skin care regimen. My husband loves this brand of shave cream, and many other items from their lineup, so I make sure to include it every Christmas.
  2. And for the guy that likes to look polished and dapper at all times, a suave shoe care kit will fit just right in his stocking.
  3. Something practical, perhaps? A slick little multi tool is perfect, and slides right into his wallet.
  4. A new book in his favorite genre–thriller, history, humor, whatever.
  5. For the guy that never quite outgrew legos, a nano block set is sure to delight–wildlife, architecture, or world travel themes available. holiday-gift-guide-for-women-1

stocking stuffers for herNow for the ladies.

  1. For the gal that’s forever losing her hair pins and elastics, a sleek set of several will see her through the next year with every hair in place.
  2. The latest selection for her book club, or a beautiful copy of her favorite novel. I always love a great new book
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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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Airplane Guide For First Time Travelers

First Time Travelers

In our line of work in South Africa, we have the amazing privilege of taking adults on trips out of the country for the very first time. Some of these adults are people who have grown up in African communities and haven’t ventured as far as Johannesburg (3 1/2 hours away) much less ridden on a plane to a faraway place. Anxiety often gets high in anticipation of hovering in the air for several hours. A couple of years ago, my son took it upon himself to help our friends out. His eight step airplane guide for first time travelers is out of this world. With the holidays around the corner and travel in sight for many folk, I thought I would share it with you in hopes that anxieties felt by people stepping on a plane for the first time would be eased.

Airport Guide

Brace yourself. This is good. I’ve added my comments in italics.

1. Go through check-in and customs. This is obviously when you are traveling internationally.

2. Get a friend and walk the airport and look at shops and possibly get food and a drink. It always helps to have a buddy and a snack.

3. Go >> 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.

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DIY Home Made Grape Fruit Body Scrub

grapefruit sugar scrubIt’s DIY time again.  And today we’re DIY-ing some home made grapefruit bath + body sugar scrub.  This stuff is scrumptious, no two ways about it.  Whip it up to give to a friend, keep it next to your kitchen sink for after you wash your hands, stash it in the shower, or use it in the bath.  This scrub is multipurpose and smells divine; you really want to get in on making this business for yourself.

Let’s get started, shall we?

grape fruit sugar scrub grapefruit sugar scrub grapefruit-body-scrub

 

4.7 from 3 reviews
DIY Home Made Grape Fruit Body Scrub
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Make your own DIY grapefruit sugar scrub with only a few ingredients. Use all over your face and body to exfoliate and moisturize with all natural ingredients!
Author:
Recipe type: Sugar Body Scrub
Cuisine: DIY Beauty
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • ¾ cup olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons Jojoba oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl add the sugar and olive oil.
  2. Mix together sugar and oil until completely combined.
  3. Add Jojoba oil.
  4. Mix again until combined.
  5. Add essential
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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!

Adorable Christmas Wreath Craft

Christmas Wreath Craft TitleThis adorable little Christmas wreath craft is possibly the easiest Christmas craft ever. It requires only 3 supplies and a pair of scissors, and is not only cute and festive, but it’s great for kids. Um, hello, room moms in charge of class Christmas parties? This is perfect. It’s low cost, low maintenance, and doesn’t involve any glue, glitter or paint. Hallelujah. 

Christmas Wreath CraftTo begin, gather your supplies

Green craft felt

Red or other festive ribbon, about 5/8″ thick

Green pipe cleaners

Scissors (fabric scissors are optional)

Rotary cutter and  mat–this is optional, but I found it really make quick work of cutting up that felt

Christmas Wreath Craft SuppliesChristmas Wreath Craft Instructions
  1. Cut your pipe cleaners in half and form them into circles, twisting the ends over. You can also use full length pipe cleaners to save a step, but you’ll have more excess on the ends to twist over–a 2-3 inch circle is just about right.
  2. Cut your felt into strips, 4 inches-5 inches long by about 3/4 inch thick. A little wider or narrower won’t matter at all. Closer to 5 inches makes them a smidge easier for little hands to manipulate, and they can always be trimmed off the finished product. Estimate about 12-15 strips
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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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