Author Archives: Jessie

About Jessie

Jessie tweets & chats her days away working in the social media and public relations departments of Tea. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Jessie moved to New York after college to work in the fashion industry. Still new to San Francisco, she's constantly discovering new sushi spots and hidden boutiques. She's still dreaming of her last trip to the Caribbean and hopes one day soon she can play on the beaches of Thailand.

March 12, 2014

Rghaif; A Moroccan Flat Bread

Moroccan Flat Bread

We’ve heard that three of the best Moroccan cities for street food are Fes, Marrakech and Essaouria (pronounced es-uh-weer-uh); coincidentally, we visited all three during our stay in Morocco. The best time to visit the food souks? Between 6 and 8 PM – this is the time Moroccans stroll and snack, before heading home for dinner around 10.

Rghaif is a flaky, layered flat bread that’s common throughout these souks. Although the dough may be stuffed with a variety of fillings before it’s folded and fried, plain rghaif are most popular served simply with honey or syrup made from butter. With only 4 ingredients, you can easily make this Moroccan flat bread at home!

What you’ll need:

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water
olive oil
white cheese (preferably a bit salty) – optional for filling

How to make:

Combine flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Add water slowly and knead mixture for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth.

Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and lightly coat with olive oil, set aside for 10 minutes.

While your dough balls are resting, warm a cast iron skillet (or similarly heavy pan) to medium heat.

On a clean surface, roll each dough ball out as thin as you possibly can. Get started with a rolling pin and then carefully lift and stretch the dough by hand. The thinner, the better.

If you’d like to fill your flat bread, now is the time to do so! Once you’ve placed your filling in the center of the dough, fold the dough into a rectangle or square and place in the heated pan that’s been lightly coated with olive oil.

Cook for a total of 6 minutes, flipping the bread every minute or so – making sure each one is cooked evenly.

 

Best served warm with your favorite jelly or honey. Add a side of sliced meats and enjoy!

March 6, 2014

Leigh’s Family Is Traveling to Asia, Share Your Tips!

What Should We See & Do in Thailand and China?

I fell in love with Thailand nearly 15 years ago. My husband and I had a six week trip bopping around Southeast Asia & the South Pacific the summer before we started business school. We visited Buddhist temples and rode elephants and ate our way through the country.

And now we return… with our kids!  Maybe it won’t be as romantic, but I have a feeling there will be a ton of falling in love. This time we’ll get to see the Buddhist temples, elephants, and delicious food through the eyes of our 5 & 7 year old boys.

After a week in Bangkok and Hua Hin, we’re heading to China!  We’ll visit Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Yangshuo — and we want advice! We have our flights and hotels booked, plus lots of time planned with our beloved Tea vendors. But there is a lot of open time for sight-seeing and digging deeper into the culture.

So please share any must-see sights or must-do activities!  I have loved reading through advice on Oh Happy Day and Design Sponge — what other blogs are out there with insider tips, especially with perspective on family travel?

 

 

Preparing The Kids For The Experience

I think a lot about preparing my kids for life. Education, manners, planning ahead, keeping an attitude of gratitude, etc, etc. Of course I like to think that I have a huge impact on their lives through all of the thoughtful preparation, but sometimes I admit to myself that I am just here for the ride. Every day is a new world and new discovery for a kid.

I remember my first trip to Manhattan. I arrived via the train, then transferred to the subway with a friend from Long Island. We came up the subway escalator and I just kept looking up and up and up. I was in college and I had seen a thousand pictures of New York, but when I came out of that subway station, I FELT it.  I felt the height, the energy, and the life of New York. I was in love to the bone.

So, no matter how many maps and documentaries we show our boys, I have a feeling that I can never fully prepare them for the size, energy, and life of Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

Of course I still have to try.  So here is the plan (and I welcome your feedback)…

  • We have a huge world map on the wall in the boys’ room. That helps a little with the context. At least I think so!
  • David found a great documentary from 2008 about China. It is certainly dated and the population numbers are probably 20% higher now, but it is well done and riveting for all four of us. I keep wondering if it is stealing the power of the first impression…. and then I remember my escalator ride up from the subway in NY for the first time.
  • Adam takes Mandarin at school four days/week. We are trying to use common phrases for familiarity:  thank you, hello, and my name is…
  • We order in Thai food regularly. Does that count?
  • I’m researching ways the kids can take pictures & blog on their own. Maybe Kidblog.org? I would love to see what pictures and captions they would post. Plus, their friends could write questions and comments, which could create a fun conversation.
  • Of course we have to expedite passport renewals. You can see from these pictures that not only are the passports expiring, but the photos are a little out of date!

 

 

Traveling with Kids Overseas 

I have been asking globetrotting families for advice about the travel itself. Here are the tips I have received so far:

  • iPads. How did parents travel before Apple? The trick is that the kids really like to stream videos on Netflix, which won’t be possible for much of our trip. So I need tips on apps–both educational and entertainment. I am just not sure Star Wars Angry Birds will get us from SFO to BKK!
  • Adjust clocks when you board the first flight. Easier said than done of course. We depart at 1:45pm which is 4:45am in Bangkok. So do we get on the plane and I try to convince the kids to sleep??  When I fly to Asia each year for work, I usually try to sleep as little as possible so that when I arrive at midnight at the hotel in Bangkok, I can crash — even though my body will think it is 4pm the next day. I’m hoping those iPads are REALLY entertaining.
  • Snacks. Snacks are actually the cure to many problems wherever we are! I’ve heard Clif Bars, Tic Tacs, and soy sauce packets have gotten many families through China. Rice is available almost anywhere and with soy sauce, we should be okay.

What else should I keep in mind?
Leave a comment below — I welcome all feedback & suggestions and can’t wait to hear from you!

March 4, 2014

DIY Head Turban

No-Sew Turban

Our spring catalog was filled with bright colors, bold patterns and tons of accessories. Many of you wrote in about the head turbans and tassel necklaces wondering where you could buy them. Unfortunately, they’re not available for purchase as they were handmade by our talented stylists, but we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a couple of DIYs. Grab an old shirt or dress and a pair of scissors, with a few twists you’ll have your very own head turban in no time!

Head Turban by Tea Collection

Really, all you need is an old dress or tee shirt and a pair of scissors. About 5 inches above the hem of the dress or shirt cut across the garment.

Head Turban by Tea Collection

(We decided to also cut the hem off, so both sides would be even)

Head Turban by Tea Collection

Twist once…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

Twist twice…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

Place one end over the other…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

And you have yourself a DIY head turban!

Want to dress it up like we did in our spring catalog? You can find beaded headbands such as this and this to layer on top. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

February 27, 2014

Shades of Jardin Bleu

Jardin Bleu

Shades of blue are found all throughout Morocco. We found this bold, cobalt color in tiles, walls, doorways – even orange stands! We’ve come to call this particular shade Majorelle Blue, and we think it’s perfect for spring. With so many styles, it’s easy to mix and match all sorts of prints and patterns for fresh outfits all season long!

Majorelle BluesShop these styles:

Majorelle Flutter Dress // Majorelle Stripe Tee // Swiss Dot Flutter Sleeve Top // Dot Print Layering Tee // Soludos Original Canvas Dali // Blue Chameleon Raglan Tee // Dot Print Capri Leggings // Patagonia Trucker Hat // Majorelle Garden Twirl Skort // Delta Runner Graphic Tee //  End-on-End Stripe Hoodie

February 20, 2014

New Arrivals: Jardin Bleu

Tea Collection Destination Morocco

 In the middle of Marrakech, there is a magic garden. With walls of brilliant blue and tiled pathways that meander through statuesque palms and sculptural cacti, the Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle) is one of the most-visited sites in all of Morocco. French painter Jacques Majorelle spent 40 years of his life creating this enchanting oasis. The clothes in this catalog are inspired by the garden’s signature cobalt shade, by it’s peaceful pools and twittering birds, by luxurious blooms and the creeping chameleons, too.

Come explore the Jardin Bleu.

New Arrivals

 

 

February 18, 2014

Guest Post: Raising A Child In Morocco

Raising Kids in Morocco via Tea Collection

There is no denying that packing up a household and a family and transporting them across the world is a hardship… but when the destination is Morocco, and you have the good fortune to not just visit but live in this vibrant country there are many more delights than difficulties.

Many people asked us how we would manage with a young toddler in Morocco. It’s true that the usual protections you become used to in the United States (rubber playground floors, clean organic vegetables, etc.) are conspicuously absent in Morocco. But the warmth of the people, towards children in particular, and the wide array of experiences you can expose your child to more than make up for it.

There is so much to choose from… ancient buildings, bustling markets, tanneries, cafes, beaches and more.  Here are some of our favorites for kids from our year in Morocco.

Raising Kids in Morocco via Tea Collection

The Majorelle Gardens: Marrakech

Marrakech isn’t hot year round, however, the summer is particularly brutal. But even when the thermostat hits 105 in the busy media, the Majorelle Gardens beckon with a promise of cool shade and lots of running space!

When you visit Morocco with a child, particularly a toddler, keeping them off the ground is key given the number of mopeds, donkeys and carts that are competing for the limited alleyway real estate. But in the Majorelle Gardens, it is strictly pedestrians only.

The Gardens were designed by a french expatriate and were loved and owned by famous designer Yves Saint Laurent. It houses various species of plants and birds as well as a museum of Berber Culture. It is a beautiful introduction to Morocco for all ages and a welcome oasis of calm.

Raising Kids in Morocco via Tea Collection

The Old Kasbah: Aït Benhaddou

If you want to get up close to the Morocco of legend, then you have to head to Aït Benhaddou. There is something for children of all ages. The little ones will love the (mostly) empty, winding alleys up to the fortress and older ones will be thrilled to know they are standing where the stars have stood since films and series from Gladiator and Game of Thrones have come here for the ancient backdrop. You can even stay in an 11th century mud brick Kasbah (watch out though… no electricity!).  The best part of our little one? Your baggage porter is your local obliging donkey. We named him Hercules.

Raising Kids in Morocco via Tea Collection

The Clock Cafe: Fes

There is of course no better way to get to know a country than through its cuisine. If you have an opportunity to visit a Moroccan restaurant near you, be sure to indulge in a fragrant Tagine (pressure-cooked, spiced meat dish) and any of the sweets on offer.  In Morocco, the best food is to be found in a family home. But one restaurant that came close for us, was the Clock Cafe, deep in the Fes Medina. The Clock has reinvented many traditional dishes and offers menu choices like a camel burger, which is sure to thrill your adventurous eater.

Raising Kids in Morocco via Tea Collection

For the more squeamish, there is delicious almond milk, Moroccan salads and other delicacies! Don’t miss out.

 

Natalia Rankine-Galloway is the founder of CultureBaby; seeking out new global products and hearing from mothers worldwide about how they celebrate culture with their kids. You can read more about her personal adventures at The Culture Mum Chronicles.

February 14, 2014

The Global Fund for Children – Giveback Day

GFC GivebackHave you heard?

We’re donating $5 of every order placed today to The Global Fund for Children. Use code FALLINLOVE on your order of $150+ to save $25 and receive free shipping. Shop now.

Things we found and want to share from this past week:

A Moroccan Msemen (pancake) recipe that pairs perfectly with butter and jam.

Can’t make it to the Exploratorium? Try this online exhibit!

We love this Danish heart pouch DIY via The House That Lars Built.

Design Mom is offering her readers 15% off our womens collection! Find the code here.

Kelle Hamptons post: Square Pegs, Round Holes and the Infinite Possibilities of Loving Your Child.