The Pair of Shoes Every Woman Should Own for Traveling

Every woman needs approximately one billion pair of shoes. Shoes for rain, for snow, for roaming around inside the house, for coffee lunch dates with the girls, for date night, for the beach and the pool, a good pair of shoes for traveling, the grocery store and the carpool pick up lane, and a few for the office. Almost every woman I know needs shoes just because sometimes she sees a pair and knows they’ll be her new best friends, until another gorgeous pair comes along and jumps into her arms.

Shoes will never betray you by not fitting after you’ve eaten an entire pie in one sitting, *AHEM* not that I’ve ever done that.

(editors note: I have done that. In fact I did that yesterday.)

Personally, I own a lot of shoes, and each has their purpose but I’m regularly on the hunt for the perfect pair of travel shoes. The shoes that are most comfortable to travel in usually look like they’re good for geriatric care (nothing wrong there, mom!) but I’ve had a hard time finding something stylish + practical. A pair of shoes you could totally wear with a skirt into a cathedral … >> 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!

Work-Out Wear Gift Card Give Away for You!

yoga fitness wear

All work-out wear images via Albion Fit

*** WINNER: #30, SARA. Congratulations, Sara! Contact us ASAP so you can get started on your workout in style! ***

You like wearing cute work-out clothes to the gym, yes?  Me too.  In fact, I feel about 87.5432% more confident working out if I’m wearing something cute, especially when said cute is holding all my bits and pieces in place.  Let’s hear it for my big busted girls!

ANYWAY.

work out wear give away

Today I’m hosting a giveaway for you, and you, and YOU (but really, only one of you) to win $100 spending money to Albion Fit, a local Utah company that makes gorgeous work-out gear and swimsuits for the ladies.  I love my own Albion Fit swimsuit so much I’m pretty sure I’ll cry when it finally gives out.  In fact, every time I wear it someone asks me where they can get their very own one shouldered emerald one piece swimsuit.  And I’m always happy to say: ALBION FIT, that’s where.

Work Out Wear Gift Card Give Away

This is the one-shoulder swimsuit I love so much.

 

This is me wearing my favorite aforementioned one-shoulder swimsuit from Albion Fit on the French Riviera when I died >> 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!

Uganda Travel Essay To Inspire You

Uganda Travel Essay

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.

Uganda Travel Essay

Mud huts with thatched roofs.

Green, green rows of corn stalks.

Kids wearing tattered clothing and looking at this mzungu like … >> 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.

Plus size Petite Round-up

petite plus size

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!

Petite Plus Pants

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 Petite Plus

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...

Carrie

Hello everyone, I’m Carrie. I’m a family photographer, and a mom of three elementary school kids. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Oregon, but I’ve lived on the east coast for the last eight years. I love exploring new places, baking, volunteering at my kids’ school, and reading. You can check out my other work at Cabesh Photography.

Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna To Impress Everyone

mushroom skillet lasagna

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.

mushroom spinach skillet lasagna

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...

Lindsey Johnson

Lindsey Johnson can usually be found in one of three places--the kitchen (cooking and washing dishes), behind her camera, or at her laptop editing photos and writing. If she's not in any of those places, chances are she's chasing after her three crazy kids or scoring a great find at the thrift store. She writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia and lives near the beautiful mountains in Utah with the aforementioned three crazy kids and one great husband.

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Friday News Round Up + Loving On Your Teen

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?

friday-night

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...

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!

Cool Wood Jewelry Watches and Accessories for You

You know what I like more than almost anything else?  Accessories.  I really, really, rilly love me some accessories, don’t you?

wood watch

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.

wood watch

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...

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!

Make The Most Of A Walt Disney World Weekend

Make The Most Of A Walt Disney World Weekend | Petit Elefant

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.

Make The Most Of A Walt Disney World Weekend | Petit Elefant

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.

Make The Most Of A Walt Disney World Weekend | Petit Elefant

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...

Pilar

A native of Chile with deep Chicago roots, Pilar and geekdom have been mutually exclusive since tight-rolled jeans and slap bracelets were in fashion, making it rather fitting she married a Star Wars nerd, made two nerdlets, and became the world’s okayest mom. An award-winning writer, social media strategist, photographer and geeky pop culturalist, her commentary has appeared in and on some cool sites like Babble, CNN, Huffington Post, Yahoo and Fandango (where she's Contributing Editor of the Family Room).

Packing Tips For A Big Trip

Tips for Packing for a Trip

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...

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.