Monthly Archives: August 2012

August 14, 2012

Tea + Chronicle Back-to-School Sweepstakes

 

Tea + Chronicle $500 Sweepstakes

Like us on Facebook to win!

Who doesn’t need new clothes and books for Back-to-School?  Enter to win our Tea and Chronicle books sweepstakes simply by liking us on Facebook and you could win $250 worth of Tea clothes and $250 worth of books from Chronicle.  Want more chances to win?  Refer your friends to this contest.  See Facebook for all the details.

Happy liking!

 

 

 

August 8, 2012

Mirror, Mirror- on the wall

Back by popular demand is guest blogger Naomi who has a United States passport, but considers herself a global citizen and currently lives in New Delhi, India.  Along for the great adventure is her husband, one teenage traveler, two little citizens and an Indian street dog.  She blogs about their life (including an upcoming relocation to Singapore) at Delhi Bound [http://delhibound.com].

My kids are participating in a bit of an informal summer reading program and one of the books we recently read was Mirror by Jeannie Baker.  The book discusses the similarities between two families on opposite ends of the earth.  Our family often gravitates towards books with global themes, but this was one of the first to make me question just how much cultural diversity my children are collecting from their experiences.

With our recent zip code history, you might think that we have ‘cultural diversity training’ checked off of the list, but I think we still have a ways to go.  Raising global citizens – inside of the four walls of our home – means that we strive to accomplish these six things :

First to train our children to accept diversity.  In their small world, this may mean being understanding of the child who stutters when they speak or the grocery store clerk that has a different skin color.

Not that it takes second priority, but a spirit of service is also crucial, whether that means following a spend/save/share motto with allowance money, or helping to ladle out broth at the local soup kitchen.

I also feel that a strong voice is so important.  Children often have some pretty great ideas about the world that they live in. Ideas of how to make things better and how to make people feel welcomed.  Developing a powerful (albeit respectful at the same time) sense of self and comfort level in speaking their mind and sharing their ideas, is an important piece of this puzzle.

General understanding of the geography of our world is simple if you use the resources at your fingertips (internet searches) and your library to open up the globe to your children.  The first step – if you don’t already own one – is to purchase a tabletop globe or a wall world atlas.  Another way to expand knowledge is to attend functions that celebrate geography, like a recent “All About Me” where children (and parents) dressed in their ‘national dress.’  Fun stuff.

statue of liberty costume

American national dress

Appreciation of the music and food that makes the world go ‘round.  We have had a couple of theme dinners in our dining room (complete with fitting food and music) and we are excited to do some more. Make the menu planning a family affair and break away from the expected Mexican, Chinese and Italian.

Caprese Salad

Making our own caprese salad

Bring it home by taking the next step. Invite someone from a different culture, nationality or country to your house for a play date, or out for a ice cream cone.  Explore your differences and marvel at your similarities.

The old adage says to give your children roots and wings, but equally as important is to give them the ability to accept and understand those who come from a different nest.

August 7, 2012

Guatemala in Color

Guest Blogger Laura shares her experience of traveling to Guatemala with her children.

With summer at its height, many of us find ourselves heading out of town. For some, the beach beckons with its warm and lazy days. Or perhaps a trip to the mountains is the draw, with pristine vistas and fresh air. Wherever we end up, we usually return refreshed and with new memories. This summer, my husband and I chose a different break. After 5 years on American soil caring for our girls, now 2 and 4, I was ready to dust off my passport and hop a plane to somewhere new. The two of us volunteered to help take 25 teenagers to Chichicastenango, a small town in the western highlands of Guatemala. Mainly a service trip, we would be working alongside the indigenous K’iche’ Mayan people there, helping them build homes, make improvements to current structures, and hold a camp for school children. We would also have the opportunity to visit the town market.

Chichicastenango, or “Chichi” as the locals call it, has been one of the main trading centers in the Mayan region since pre-Hispanic times. The market today is the largest of it’s kind in the Western Hemisphere. Known as the most colorful market in all of the Americas, it’s not hard to see why. The traje, or traditional native costumes of Guatemala, are bursting with color and together with their patterns connect locals to specific villages or groups. The vendors dress to sell their wares, which include ceramics, wooden masks, religious items and of course the fabrics. Oh, the fabrics. In the form of clothing, blankets, and so much more, they make the market a true feast for the eyes.

There was so much to see, from the Mayan priests on the church steps burning sacrifices to the women in their traje selling flowers. I took in the sights, the smells, the feel of it all. And of course I shopped. I was tempted to bring back an entire wardrobe for my girls, from the huipils (traditional Mayan blouses) to the wrap around skirts.  I settled for dolls and headbands while they are still so small.

The market was a treat, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking teenaged girls on a shopping trip like no other. A far cry from the local mall, they tried their hand at bargaining and came away with some fabulous finds and great memories.

I could go on, but a picture is worth a thousand words. And for this experience, pictures tell it all. They tell the story of a people who showed us a glimpse of their lives through what they bring to market each week. Their stories are woven in fabrics every color of the rainbow.

 

August 6, 2012

How-to-make tissue paper flowers

Our latest diy project was inspired by the Lunefuld Dress’ whimsical flowers.  Create bouquets for pennies rather than benjamins.

DIY tissue paper flowers

DIY tissue paper flowers

Materials:
-pencils
-scissors
-thin cardboard (we used a file folder)
-green pipe cleaners
-rainbow variety of tissue paper

 

Step 1: Start drawing flower petal shapes onto thin cardboard.   Download our flower petal template or draw some free hand designs of your own.

Step 2: Cut out flower petals from cardboard and start tracing the shapes onto tissue paper.
*Tip: Fold the tissue paper into quarters to trace once but get 4 times as many petals.

Tracing flower petals on tissue paper.

Trace petals onto issue paper. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Step 3: Cut out the flower petals.  The more petals the better!

Tissue paper flower petals

Our organized tissue paper flower petals.

Step 4: Lay them out and start stacking your petals.  The biggest petal will be the first one you poke onto the pipe cleaner.

Stack of tissue paper petals.

Biggest petals on the bottom and smallest on top.

 

Step 5: Poke your petals onto the pipe cleaner.  Push only about 1/8 down the pipe cleaner, then fold the top 1/2 inch down to form a nub, so the flower petals can’t escape.

 

Pipe Cleaner stem.

Fold the pipe cleaner down like so.

Step 6: After all desired petals are safely secured onto your pipe cleaner, gather the petals into a cone shape with your hands to create a ‘blooming’ look.

 

Gather petals for a blooming look

Gather petals for a blooming look

 

Once you start it’s hard to not get carried away.

a complete tissue paper flower

A complete tissue paper flower

August 5, 2012

Activity Printout: Ride the Magic Bike

free coloring page

Download your Ride the Magic Bike Activity Printout.

Once you’re done, submit your creation to blog@teacollection.com for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win!  Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!

This activity was inspired by the Cycle Chic tee.

Tea's Cycle Chic Tee

Cycle Chic Tee

Cycle in style without a care in world. It’s easy to inspire adventure with a sweet pink tee. Check out the nods to Danish architecture and needlework details that bring Copenhagen to life.

July’s Activity Book Winner

We were happy to dive right into our new fall season with our Nordic-inspired activity book.  We were even more happy to see all the great photos of our fans enjoying the new activity book! We have to say, this was by far the hardest month to pick a winner. There were so many amazing submissions that were all beyond creative!

This month, we say congrats to Kaili who colored the “Dress the Owl” activity book page.

free coloring book page contestWe love how she added feathers to her owl picture to really bring the page to life!

We also have some honorable mentions we’d like to showcase. How could we not love Rachael’s monster?

free coloring book page contest
Not to mention all the talent in this family! Check out these three siblings (Kinsley, Langholm, and Finnegan) rad pictures.

Free coloring book contest

Thank you everyone for entering and be sure to submit a new picture for August’s contest!

Browse all the entries on our Flickr page.

Interested in entering the contest for next month? Take a picture of your child’s completed activity book picture and send it to us at blog@teacollection.com with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line. We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate. We’ll also post all honorable mentions on our blog page and all submissions will be posted on our Flickr page.

Download all of our activity book pages by visiting our activity printouts blog tag.

 

August 3, 2012

How-to-beat the heat when it’s hot, hot, hot

Back by popular demand is guest blogger Naomi who has a United States passport, but considers herself a global citizen and currently lives in New Delhi, India.  Along for the great adventure is her husband, one teenage traveler, two little citizens and an Indian street dog.  She blogs about their life (including an upcoming relocation to Singapore) at Delhi Bound [http://delhibound.com].

girl with bucket

Going off my experience of living in a climate where it’s often “TOO HOT!” outside to play, I will share my favorite things to do with children that encourage creativity, kindness and exploration.

The temperatures are rising all across the United States, and in the warm climate areas of the world, and kids are saying those dreaded three words, “Mama, I’m bored.”

We have some sure-fire crafts, activities and things to do that will help to beat the heat.

First, our favorite.  Using ice cube trays, fill them with water that is tinted with either liquid watercolor or food coloring (if your children are older).  Freeze until solid, then after removing them from the tray, place them strategically on a piece of white fabric that is laying directly in the sun.  Move them around every so often to distribute the melting colors, and end up with a beautiful piece of art, with all of the hard work being done by the sun.

Even if you do not own an ice cream maker, using a resealable bag can be just as much fun (and it doesn’t take nearly as long).  Place 1/2 cup of both milk and heavy whipping cream, along with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla into a quart size resealable bag.  Put two cups of ice into a gallon size resealable bag.  At 1/2 – 3/4 cup of salt to the ice.  Place the sealed liquid bag into gallon bag and seal tightly.  Massage, rock and shimmy-shake the large bag for 10-15 minutes.  Keep shaking and massaging the bags until the mixture feels like ice cream.

Get a bucket, some liquid detergent from the kitchen, some sponges and wash the car.  Of course, parents may want to have the last rinse, to ensure that no suds are baked onto your vehicle.

Combine an indoor picnic with a mid-afternoon dance party.  Nothing beats the heat like some indoor munching and boogeying.

Last but not least, create an indoor snowball game.  Roll up white socks into themselves, making balls.  Using the couch in your living room or a dining room chair, create protective “base” walls and go to town throwing snowballs at your family members (being sure to remove any breakables  before Operation Snowball begins.