Every year in the town of El-Kelaa M’Gouna, Moroccans celebrate the rose harvest with The Festival of Roses. The souqs are packed with rose-scented gifts that fill the air with their floral fragrances. Children hand out lei garlands, traditional Berber music plays through the streets and a Miss Rose is crowned for her beauty and talents.
Inspired by this tradition we threw our own mini-festival, complete with rose flavored snacks and handmade paper leis!
Tissue paper flower garlands hung from the ceiling and real roses filled the room. Photos were snapped in front of our mosaic rose backdrop and a good time was had by all! Soon, you’ll have your chance to celebrate this Moroccan tradition at a store near you. On May 10th, over 50 Tea retailers across the nation will each host their own Rose Festival and we can’t wait to see your #TeaRoseFestival photos! Stay tuned for details.
For two days only we’re giving our extended family and biggest fans 20% off everything Tea! Use code FRIENDS20 at checkout 4/22 & 4/23 – And, be sure to share the love with your own friends and family – who doesn’t love a good sale? Shop now!
Noah is a 17-year-old dromedary who played a big (literally, big!) part in our catalog shoot. Often called one-humped camels, dromedaries – or Arabian camels, are most commonly found in Northern Africa.
Both male and female dromedaries stand over 6 feet tall and live to be about 45 years old weighing up to 1,322 pounds (600 kg). They eat all types of leafy plants – even the thorny ones! Their hump stores about 80 lbs of fat, which gets broken down into water and energy when food and water are limited. Dromedaries have a very fast rate of rehydration, drinking up to 5 gallons of water per minute!
Dromedary camels are much more common than two hump Bactrian camels.
Baby camels are born without a hump.
Dromedaries can close their nostrils to prevent sand from entering inside their nose during dust storms.
I have been a fan of Zid Zid Kids for a long time, admiring the work of Julie and Moulay. They create beautiful items for play and home, all made in Morocco by hand. I find the pieces and overall aesthetic to be so charming.
Moulay and Julie live in Morocco and speak French, Arabic and Spanish to their children daily – so it was only natural that their next endeavor would be a creative hands-on language program for children! Petit Zarafa is a play-based multi-language learning subscription website for little citizens ages 2 and up.
My children have Chinese flashcards that they play with when their grandmother visits from Taiwan, but we haven’t picked them up in a while.
The combination of the activities with learning lessons, grasping different sounds with familiar tasks, is inspiring to me. My kids love playing with games and are currently learning letters & numbers at their own schools – it will be interesting to see what they gravitate to most with this program. In general, my kids love listening to stories… I’m sure my mom, a former French language teacher, would love to teach them French stories. It would be magical if they could speak a little bit of French when we visit my sister in Europe this summer.
Are you teaching your children a second language? What do you find works best? I’d love to know!
Warm weather opportunities are popping up all over. But with the possibility of April showers, there are a number of indoor activities to plan for eager (and antsy) kids. Here are few crafts that can build excitement and enthusiasm for the season. Plus, they’re perfect for nannies and sitters looking for more hands-on projects to engage kids.
Bath time is often a struggle. Make it a little more fun with double-duty bunnies. You can create these little rabbits out of brightly-colored washcloths that can later be used in the bath. Check out this example.
Using plastic eggs and hot glue (kids will need help with this!), there are a few fun filled ways to create festive headdress. Encourage their creativity by allowing them to add whatever accessories please them. Here are some images to jump start your creativity.
Here’s a project you haven’t done since preschool, but perfect for an Earth Day lesson. Grab a pinecone from the yard; tie about a 12-inch piece of yarn or ribbon in a tight knot around the top so that the ends hang evenly (these will then be tied around a tree). Spread peanut butter or honey all over the pine cone. Then pour bird seed onto a plate and roll the sticky pinecone over it. Hang the pinecone on a tree — and tie another knot. Gather around and wait for the birds to come.
Re-create the World
Who doesn’t love an excuse to make marshmallow rice treats? Your kids will love sculpting a globe out of the yummy dessert and covering it with green and blue sugar. As a sweet bonus, try putting some gummy creatures on the earth too! Give a little planetary talk, discuss the amount of water versus land and explain how we need to take care of these elements… And then dig-in!
Whether it’s your front yard or a neighborhood eye-sore that needs a little sprucing, nothing helps decorate more than flowers. In honor of Earth Day, head down to your local garden center (preferably by bike, it’s Earth Day, after all!) and buy some blooms. Then get planting. Tip: A perennial flower will allow your kids to see their hard work year after year.
Matzo House Here is an April-version of the wintery gingerbread house! Encourage your children to play with their food (finally!) by creating this Matzo house that is fun to make and actually tastes good too.
Inspired by Studio Deseo‘s designs seen in our spring and summer, we came up with this DIY to help you create your very own tassel necklaces.
Gather materials. We’ve got your pom pom and tassel tutorials here and here.
Step 1: Pull a 50 inch piece of thread through one of your needles. When your thread is halfway through the eye, knot the double strand at the head of the needle. Thread and knot the 2nd needle with the two loose ends. You should now have one double stranded piece of thread roughly 25 inches long with a needle at each end.
Step 2: Take six 8 inch pieces of yarn. Knot the yarn into the thread about 8 or 9 inches up from the needle. Braid the yarn and thread together until you’ve come to the end of the yarn, knot together again. It’s okay if the sides are uneven!
Step 3: Thread a pom-pom through each needle, pull pom-pom all the way up, touching each side of the braided yarn.
Step 4: Thread glass beads through both sides. After roughly 2 inches of beads, attach a tassel. (Do so by pushing your needle through the top of the tassel)
Step 5: Continue stringing beads, then string another tassel.
Step 6: String more beads, then attach a pom-pom. (Do so by pushing your needle through the center of a pom-pom)
Step 7: Cut the double strand at the head of the needle to divide your thread into two separate pieces on each side.
Step 8: String beads through each piece of thread (4 strands total) ending each with a different colored bead, leaving about an inch and a half of thread.
Step 9: Thread a needle and attach a tassel to each string to finish off your necklace. Knot each string to make sure each end is secure.
Step 10: Enjoy!
We styled this necklace by leaving it open and layering it with multiple Peppercorn necklaces. You can also gently tie the two sides together (just after the first two pom-poms) for a more traditional necklace look.
A traditional Moroccan cake is referred to as Meskouta in Arabic. Most often made with either orange juice or yogurt as the main ingredient, you’ll typically find them served plain with no frosting. The recipe will vary depending on which family you ask and while it’s most commonly baked in a bundt pan, this cake is much lighter than any other cake you’re used to seeing in this shape. We think this is the perfect dessert to make with your little ones – only 10 minutes to prep and out of the oven 40 minutes later!
What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
zest from 2 oranges
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Or, you can go by these “Traditional Moroccan Measures” we came across when making this recipe…
1 level soup bowl of sugar
1 tea glass full of vegetable oil
1 heaping soup bowl of flour
2 sachets of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tea glass of fresh orange juice
zest from 1 or 2 oranges
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. Juice and zest fresh oranges. Beat together eggs and sugar. Gradually beat in oil. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and orange juice. Mix until smooth, adding the orange zest and vanilla.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until top is brown and cake tests done (toothpick should come out clean). Allow cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn onto a rack to continue cooling.