Misc

Little Black Bloopers

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Polka Dot Tee Dress

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Vintage Plaid Culottes

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Recipe Roundup

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Sweater + Booties Craft Show Outfit

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Retro Glasses + 80s Studs

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Chiffon Blouse + Lace Up Flats

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Fitness + Diet on Vacation

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Friday Favorites Giveaway

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Striped Tee “Dress” + Booties

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Dinosaur Statement Necklace

As you can see from sneeze faces to your little brother photobombing your shoot, blogging is not all clean houses and cute smiles. There are a lot of very uncute things that happen and a lot of behind the scenes drama that readers don’t see. So here I am, again, keepin’ it real and giving you a sneak peek of the ugly stuff. These bloopers are unedited and proudly brought to you by my husband.

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Misc

Fall Giveaway Winner!

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Although Petite Noir has only been alive for three months, I have just successfully hosted my very first giveaway! It was nerve-wracking and I constantly wondered if I was doing it correctly, but I’ve made it through and we have a winner!

The winner will receive  a cable knit infinity scarf (in their choice of color), one bottle of Essie nail polish in Stylenomics, one pair of these vintage glasses (also in their choice of color), a box of Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin tea, a box of Pumpkin Delights and a surprise item.

Without further ado the fall favorites prize pack giveaway winner is…

Darlene O. owe……@gmail.com

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Congratulations! 🙂 Remember to check for an email sent from laura@thepetitenoir.com for further instructions.

For those of you who didn’t win, there will be other upcoming opportunities, so please keep checking back with me. Christmas just happens to be my favorite time of year. Hint, hint. 🙂

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Food & Parties

DIY Dinosaur Birthday Decor Under $50

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This past weekend my nephew turned one! Well, he turned one Monday, but his first birthday party was on Saturday. Being the Martha Stewart I am, I was enlisted to help with party planning and although there were some setbacks, we managed to pull everything off under my sisters’ budget. (And try not to mind the photos – it was super bright outside the pavilion, super dark under it, the wind was insane and I was stressed to the max trying to get everything done before guests arrived.)

First, let me start by saying the budget was a challenge. I was given a food budget of $50 to feed the entire invited number of 86 people, of which about 45 came. Still, $50 for 45 mostly adult people is not a huge number to work with. But that’s for another post. Our decor budget was really low and although a number was never given, we gave it our best to stay as low as possible.

A major tip when planning parties is to shop your house first. You need a banner? See if you have some unused construction paper or cardstock lying around from another project. Need party plates? Check your stockpile that you have filled with FREE paper plates instead of spending $1 per pack of eight for a certain color – nobody really cares what color your plates are.

Dinosaur Banners
Budget: I already had a roll of twine, some construction paper and white acrylic lying around so we only bought a pack of kraft cardstock using a 40% coupon from Hobby Lobby. Total out of pocket for our party: $2.50 and there’s plenty leftover for other projects. If you had to go buy twine, construction paper, white acrylic and kraft cardstock your out of pocket would be about: $12. (And you would have plenty left over to do a load of other banners!)

Craft: We cut the kraft cardstock into 5x7s (you’ll need enough of those for letter and print parts of all the banners) and then 6 6x8s for the dinosaurs on the ends of each banner. We then used a stencil (I already had these – you can purchase or make your own) to write out “Parker’s one!”, “gifts” and “candy brawr!”. Using these templates (t rex, stegosaurus, diplodocus, footprint) we traced, cut and glued down the accent pieces – remember to use your 6x8s horizontal for the dinosaur ends! Finally, we punched holes in all the pieces and threaded the twine through. Easy peasy!

Dinosaur Balloons
Budget: Here is where our budget doubled overnight and if you don’t do what we did, it won’t happen to you! We bought three packs of balloons for $1 each at Dollar Tree (that was the first mistake – they just don’t hold the helium well) and got them filled at our local Food Lion for $0.80 each. We decided on six bunches of three and one extra of each color should we have some deflating issues. We filled the balloons at about 8pm the night before the party and by the time I got up at 5:30 the next morning half the balloons were down and by 10am the rest had deflated as well. IF YOU USE CHEAP BALLOONS DO NOT MAKE THESE IN ADVANCE! We ended up having enough leftover balloons to not have to buy more, but still had to pay $0.80 a balloon AGAIN and they still hardly lasted over 5 hours. Total out of pocket for our party: $41.40 ($3 balloons, $16.80 for helium the first time and then $21.60 the second time because the employees at Food Lion did not listen to “fill up six of each color and ended up filling all the balloons we gave them”) If you do not have our problems your total out of pocket would be about: $21.80.

Craft: Using the leftover construction paper from the dinosaur banners, we cut out dinosaur body parts using the following templates: t rex, stegosaurus, diplodocus. Before you begin you’ll want to cut any string they may have tied to your balloon because you won’t be having them float the “correct” way. Position your balloon in a way that resembles whatever dinosaur body your trying to create. For a stegosaurus, it will be totally horizontal, where for the rex and diplodocus it will be more diagonal. Tape your dino parts on your balloon and then tape the string underneath the dinosaurs’ body so he’ll be right side up. For a visual on what I mean by body positioning, check out this post.

Party Dino Centerpieces
Budget: These dinosaurs are only $1 at Walmart and if you don’t want them as toys after the fact, give them away or sell them at a yard sale and make some of your money back! We ended up having six tables, with three on each making that 18 dinosaurs. We also picked up a pack of mini pom poms at Hobby Lobby for $1.99. Total out of pocket for our party: $19.99.

Craft: Using more of the leftover construction paper, my sister cut out mini party hats using this template. She hot glued the edges, added a pom pom to each hat and then hot glued them to the dinosaurs’ heads. Really simple and really cute.

Our total out of pocket for the party decor (had we not had to refill balloons with helium) was $42.29. Issues happen and you have to deal with it, but for the sake of this post, we’ll pretend it didn’t. 🙂

If you all are interested in hearing more about how we fed 45 people for under $50 (not including cake), please let me know! To see my outfit, read this post.

And remember, I’m running a giveaway through September 28th, so be sure to check out this post as well! Good luck!

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Fashion & Beauty

Dinosaur Statement Necklace

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Long Sleeve Tee / Dinosaur Necklace / Levi’s 535 Super Skinny Jeans in Mid Roast / Pointed Toe Flats

This past weekend was my nephews’ first birthday and we went with a dinosaur theme, so obviously I needed a fitting necklace. I got so many compliments on it all through the party by people I really didn’t think would like it at all. Funny how that works.

I love statement necklaces with really minimal outfits – it just makes the necklace pop. And what color could make a silver necklace pop more, than my favorite color ever – black. 🙂

Oh, and I got to touch this little guy!

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LONG SLEEVE TEE DINO NECK MID ROAST BLACK FLATS

Fashion & Beauty

Striped Tee “Dress” + Wedge Booties

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStripe Top / Black Cardigan similar here and here / Wedge Booties / Looking Sharp by Premier Designs

My poor husband. He tries so hard, but the little details of photography just don’t make sense to him. I always do the first shots to get the settings correct and then hand it over to him so all he really has to do is shoot. But tonight we were really busy and it was almost sunset by the time we got out. My settings were on point when we started but it just got dark so fast! Although I’ve told him many times, he just doesn’t pay attention to the exposure gauge (super technical term, there). His response to me when I tried to explain it again was, “I thought the camera would just shoot exactly what I see as I see it”. If only, darlin’, if only. To wrap it up – the photos are grainy, my husband is learning, you’ll live.

It’s starting to feel like fall? Ha. The high today was 89. But the leaves have started changing so I know fall is just around the corner. Now if I could only convince the thermometer…

Chilly mornings and evenings call for cardigans. They keep you cozy when you need them and are easily removed when you don’t. Little mama always said you can always take it off if you have it, but you can’t put it on if you don’t.

And remember, I’m running a giveaway through September 28th, so be sure to enter! You can see the prize and enter for a chance to win here. Good luck!

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VERO MODA CARDIGAN 1 CARDIGAN 2 BLACK BOOTIES LOOKING SHARP

Misc

Friday Favorites: Happy Fall Edition + Giveaway

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Happy first day of fall! The arrival of fall brings all things I love: layers, crisp air, comfort food and hot drinks. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year and in honor of that, I’m doing a roundup of my top fall favorites.

In addition to the roundup, I’ll be giving away a fall favorites prize pack to one lucky reader. The prize pack will contain a cable knit infinity scarf (in your choice of color), one bottle of Essie nail polish in Stylenomics, one pair of these vintage glasses (also in your choice of color), a box of Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin tea and a box of Pumpkin Delights. (Your tea needs cookies, c’mon now.) To round off your prize pack, there will also be an additional SURPRISE item in the box. Who doesn’t love surprises?

The giveaway starts now and runs through September 28th at midnight. You can enter once per action; that means if you complete all four actions, you’ll receive four entries! The giveaway is only open to residents of the United States. (Sorry, guys, I have to brush up on international giveaway laws – they really do exist!)

Cable Knit Infinity Scarves
In that order! They’re easy ways to add a pop of color or that little something extra that your outfit needs. Bonus points for keeping your neck warm.

Essie Nail Polish in Stylenomics
I constantly fall in love with colors that are so dark, they’re almost black. I picked up my first bottle of this at my local TJMaxx and it became an instant favorite that I’m sure I’ll be wearing all season.

Vintage Glasses
I told you back in this post that these would be glued to my face all fall! There’s just something about fall that screams oversized glasses to me. (Glasses + Scarves) x Coffee = Fall. Bet you didn’t know I passed Algebra. 🙂

Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Tea
New favorite Fall tea! It does have a spicy chai flavor but a hint of sweet pumpkin is definitely there. When I opened my Amazon bag, it literally smelled like someone just pulled a pumpkin pie out of the oven!

Pumpkin Delights
I. LIVE. FOR. THESE. I could literally eat the entire box in one sitting. But I won’t, because I need them for the giveaway. But that second box I have stashed around here somewhere…

Remember, you can enter up to four times until September 28th and if you win, keep an eye out for an email from me. Good luck!

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CABLE SCARF BLACK AND GOLD GLASSES  ESSIE STYLENOMICS SWEET HARVEST PUMPKIN PUMPKIN DELIGHTS

Fashion & Beauty · Fitness

Fitness + Diet on Vacation

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWorkout Leggings in Heather Charcoal / Racerback Workout Top/
High Impact Sports Bra / Tennis Shoes

Few words about the outfit. These leggings are fantastic – no show through and they come in a bunch of colors and patterns! The workout tank I recommend a size up (I’m wearing a medium). The sports bra is the best sports bra I have ever owned; for you ladies who have a super small band size (I’m looking at you 26 and 28) and a large cup size, the small fits perfect. The tennis shoes, well, they’re tennis shoes, they get the job done. 🙂 Moving on.

No, not your fitness and diet routine went on vacation, but actually maintaining your routine while you are on vacation. I know, ew. But totally worth it, I promise!

Recently, my entire immediate family went on vacation together in the Outer Banks. (You can read that post here.) That included my mom and stepdad, my youngest sister and little brother, my oldest younger sister, her husband and their 11 month old son and us. Whew! What a mouthful (and a houseful)! With so many people in and out and up and about in one house, it was definitely a challenge to stick to my guns, but I did and I am so incredibly proud of myself. For the first time ever I actually maintained my weight on vacation. *huge goofy smile*

First let me start off by saying it is insanely hard to keep to your routine when you are the only person (out of a house of 9) doing it. At home, my husband lifts almost every day and we are relatively active and healthy people together; on vacation, my husband takes a total break from lifting and usually his diet. Totally alone. Back on track. I was that weirdo waking up at 5:50 AM every morning, walking three miles on the beach and then doing the entire one hour Ballet Beautiful routine. All the while, everyone else was sleeping in and conversing around the table drinking coffee and eating pancakes. I must admit, there were mornings that it made me totally depressed and I wanted to just be on vacation with everyone else. But after every workout was complete, I was so incredibly proud of myself and it just made our trip that much better. 🙂

Get up and get it done.
Seriously? Seriously. Like I said, I set my alarm every morning for 5:50 AM. It took me an hour to finish my three mile walk and then another hour to do my Ballet Beautiful. By waking up super early, I was able to complete my workouts around 8 AM and still keep a relatively normal schedule with everyone else. I know that if I don’t wake up and get my workouts in early on vacation, they will never happen. Tried and true, trust me.

Have one cheat meal per day.
It’s vacation, cheat a little, but don’t go overboard. Most mornings I ended up having a cup of coffee after my workouts and then didn’t even eat anything until lunch because I legitimately wasn’t even hungry. Lunch was typically a cold cut sandwich with grapes eaten on the beach. Simple and healthy. Dinner was where all bets were off. We ate out every single night and I was able to enjoy whatever I wanted (and not feel guilty later) because I made decent choices 80% of the day. It’s all about balance. And let’s face it – nobody wants to eat and eat and eat, get bloated and then run around in a bikini.

Be generally active.
Yes, lying around for days sounds great. But honestly, after day two of doing absolutely nothing, I want to actually do something. Get up and go for a walk on the beach, find a unique hiking trail, go sightseeing. A little extra movement goes a long way.

Get back on track.
Vacation’s over. Time to buckle down. It can be really easy to let your diet slide right after vacation. “What’s one more day?” You’ll say it over and over until the scale is looking back at you with a nasty gain next week. Typically, by the time vacation is over, I’ve made myself so sick by overeating and binging on heavy food that I legitimately look forward to my normal diet.

Don’t sweat the bloat.
I swore to myself that I would not weigh in on Monday. Monday came and so did the scale. Up three pounds. Not too bad. Instead of freaking out and deciding to starve the rest of the week, I went right back to my normal routine. By Thursday, all the bloat had come off and I was back at my pre-vacation weight. By Saturday, I was one pound lighter than my pre-vacation weight. Mind. Blown.

This is exactly what I did on vacation and I have never been more proud of myself. It’s been a year and a half ish since I decided I deserved the body I wanted; I’ve lost 35 pounds, gained a massive amount of confidence and have made serious life changes for a happier, healthier me. You don’t have to starve or give up all the foods you love, you don’t have to eat raw foods or stay strictly keto and you don’t have to do P90X or HIIT to get where you want to be. Find what works for you and fits into your lifestyle and good things will happen. 🙂

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workout tank WORKOUT LEGGINS sports bra tennis shoes