Author Archives: lisac

December 2, 2010

Stomp for Joy (and wrap your gifts with love).

Perhaps you received our email today? We’re stomping with joy and excitement as the holidays draw closer. In fact, Hanukkah just started last night. So for everyone who’s in the shopping or gifting mood, it’s time to think outside the (paper) box for wrapping ideas.

Have you ever thought about wrapping gifts in something other than paper? From The Green Spot, we learned that during the winter holidays, 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bags are thrown away. The Daily Green also has lots of great green wrapping tips too.

At Tea, we created our signature Furoshiki Gift Wrap not only to be beautiful, but to be reusable. We were inspired by the artful Japanese tradition of wrapping gifts in beautiful swaths of cloth.

Furoshiki Gift Wrap

Other fun ideas:

– Turn your paper shopping bags inside out and inside out and add a bit of artistry with holiday-themed sketches or rubber stamps

– Use pages from old magazines – Katy likes to do a different color scheme for each person on her list: in shades of green for one person, shades of pink for another. They usually look really pretty and have a nice cohesive feeling.

– We like to use our own graphics and prints and print them out as wrapping paper. You could even use some of the Old World Hungary inspired coloring pages we’ve been publishing on the blog throughout the fall and holiday seasons. Or simply take any of your kids’ artistic creations and turn them into wrapping paper. Wouldn’t it be fun to get a present wrapped in your own artwork? Pretty cool.

Happy wrapping! We’d love to hear about some of your creative or eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas.

November 25, 2010

What are you thankful for?

What are you thankful for?

We’re thankful for you! And each other. And this world.
Like you, we were born to explore it, to experience it with
every bit of our souls. And we take our kids along, holding their hands,
even when they’re too young to take it all in.

This Thanksgiving, whether you’re going across the street or
across the globe…

Just go there. Go to see. Go to be. Go to share.
Especially to share.
Be in it. Stay in it. Revel in it. Love it, every day.
And definitely bring your kids.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Tea.

November 2, 2010

SF Giants World Series Champs – Tea fans exhilarated!

Many of us here at Tea have been following the SF Giants (#SFGiants) all season and long before. The Giants play a kind of baseball that’s been branded “torture” by Kruk and Kuip our awesome Giants announcers. It’s been a lovely torture. We’re awash in the aftermath and planning our dash to Wednesday’s celebratory parade.

BaseballCap_Sunglasses_Glove

One of the Giants’ biggest fans is Ana Ramos, graphic designer and photographer extraordinaire. About a week ago she joyfully shared this post with me. Today seemed like the perfect day to share it with the world!

I’ve been lucky enough to have attended a World Series game, it was October of 2003 and the Yankees were facing the Marlins in Florida. It was supposed to be Roger Clemens last start, he had just announced his retirement, and the standing ovation he received before the first pitch was thrown was electrifying. But he and Bret Favre are probably really good friends so you know how that story went. I can’t remember who won that game, I know the Marlins won the World Series in 6 games. What I remember most is that I missed some classes because my dad took me on another one of our baseball trips to Florida (I’m originally from Caracas, Venezuela – if you follow the Giants, Panda and I share a nationality…), up to that time I had missed school one previous time for a NLCS between the Marlins and my then beloved Chipper Jones and Braves. In a sea of Marlins fans, we were one of the few Braves’ fans around the bullpen and after Greg Maddux finished his bullpen session I was the lucky winner of a baseball, which is now signed by Bobby Cox. I’m guessing my mom wasn’t too happy about those missed classes, but traveling to be in a World Series game was on another level: take in a huge baseball game, the atmosphere and just spending time with my dad, a dream really if you love baseball.

Fast forward to 2010, I’m still a huge baseball fan but no longer root for the Braves. Since moving to San Francisco I adopted the Giants as my team. The history the team has, the way the city embraces the team is night and day compared to my experience with summer baseball and the Marlins. And I love it! This year it all started with a slogan I thought was crazy “there’s magic inside” and a roster that promised more of what we had experienced in previous years. But somehow since game 1, an extra inning win against the Braves, the team showed a special spark turned into torture and a season full of ups and downs with amazing baseball.

This year I’ve learned so much more about the game and the characters that make our “band of misfits” so special. It’s part of my daily routine to listen to Murph & Mac in the morning interviewing Kruk or Kuip, and I usually don’t go to bed without listening to the post game wrap with Amy G, Mychael Urban, FP and the rest of the team. And then there’s the g-men. “25 guys, one common goal = win”. That’s what the players see when they head to the field every day they are at home, and that common goal has been carried this year by a group of guys that on paper shouldn’t have the run they’ve had so far. It took all 162 games of the season to win the Division and go to the post season. Remember we have an unofficial slogan: “giants baseball: torture”.

And then, for the first round of playoffs we had to face the Braves in the NLDS, my team during my teenage years… I have to admit it was a bit hard rooting against the team that brought me the love for baseball but I now bleed black and orange. And baseball being a superstitious sport, I watched those games with my Bobby Cox signed baseball to jinx my old team and have an outlet to relief the stress of the 1-run games. In fact, playing with a baseball during a game is something I learned from Krukow, one of the Giants announcers. If you ever get the chance to go to AT&T park take a moment to look at the press area and you will spot a baseball being flipped up and down, that’s Kruk and now when I go to the games that’s one of my little rituals – look for the ball and take a deep breath it’s time for baseball…

Today is October 23rd and the Giants are still playing baseball. And every morning at the office we do a small, and sometimes not so small, touch base on how our boys are doing. I keep calling them our boys like I know them! But that’s how this team has made us feel, like we are part of the Giants family. The October road for the Giants brought a lot more torture and exciting baseball: getting past the Braves by winning game 3 on the road to win the NLDS; the Giants as huge underdogs defeated the defending NL Champs Phillies in a classic Giants game: on the road, in a torture game and everyone pitching in (literally) to win the game.

I was watching the game at the tennis club, after missing the first part of the game while playing a tournament we all headed to the bar to watch the game. To the final out, we were on our toes counting down outs, strikes, everything…. And when the umpire rung up Ryan Howard we had our own little champagne celebration! Being so close to AT&T park we decided to take in the scene, cars honking, unknown people hugging and high-fives all over the place. The Giants, the unlikely group of misfit guys had won the National League for the first time since 2002 and are headed to the World Series.

During all the celebration, I kept texting with my parents back home in Venezuela. They updated me at the beginning of the game while I was playing tennis and then I updated them while they were at a wedding. And when they finally got home we were able to talk and celebrate that our Giants had won the pennant! Now my parents are planning a trip to visit and take in game 6 of the series. If everything works out my dad and I will get to experience a World Series game once again and my mom will experience her first. This time of course it will be different because is not just a World Series game, it’s a game that involves a team we truly know and feel part of… As fans we are that 10th man on the field cheering them on every out until the last out. No matter if we are able or not to go to a game, you can bet that we will be watching together in different time zones and places, but enjoying the torture and rooting for the Giants to get 4 more wins and take it all…

Note from Lisa: And they did it! I guess the only downside of winning in 5 is that Ana and her dad didn’t get to relive the World Series in person, here in SF. We’re all thrilled they won and not sure we could have stood much more torture. Go Giants!!!

October 15, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Leigh Rawdon and Women’s Initiative

Leigh, our co-founder and CEO just sent me this inspiring post:

On Tuesday, Emily and I were lucky enough to be honored as Women Entrepreneurs of the Year by Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. There were several women recognized including the talented women behind amazing brands like Peas of Mind and Minted. But the most inspiring woman of all (and I think every honoree and attendee would agree) was Nancy Charraga. So I wanted to share a little of her story:

Nancy came to the US from Chiapas, a southern state in Mexico. She wanted to preserve and share the cultures and traditions of Mexico through the products she sold. She started in flea markets but it wasn’t until she went through the training at Women’s Initiative that she developed a business plan and strategy. Like many other trainees in the program, Nancy fit the profile of high potential, low income. And like most graduates, she has been operating a successful, sustainable business for many years since.

Entrepreneurship is a passion of mine because of people like Nancy. People from all walks of life – whether students of a top business school or a recent immigrant in the Women’s Initiative training program – are able to create something from nothing. Entrepreneurship requires creativity, resourcefulness, and perseverance, and the results are independence, confidence, and a positive impact on the world around us.

Nancy Charraga now has a store, a wholesale business, and an event planning service. She employs dedicated women who are supporting their families. And she’s having a positive impact on the community around her. Every day, she fulfills her mission to Preserve & Promote Mexican Traditions through Fair Trade. She deserves last night’s award and many more for demonstrating the power and importance of entrepreneurship.

Nancy Charraga

Nancy Charraga

Learn more about Nancy and check out her store, Casa Bonampak online and if you’re ever in San Francisco’s Mission District. Emily and I are grateful to be included with Nancy and all of 2010′s Women’s Initiative honorees.

September 30, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Tea explores the food trucks of the world

We are so lucky to live in San Francisco and have many fun, tasty and global treats to explore nearby. The great food truck explosion has hit SF in a big way.

We like to think we were among the first to discover Chairman Bao, the yummy bun truck with a sense of humor. You can find them outside Economy Restaurant Fixtures on 7th and Irwin among other locales. Check their Facebook page for their whereabouts.

The Tea team is partial to the steamed buns, including Chinese Spiced Duck Confit with Mango (Josh is known to get 3) and the Crispy Garlic Tofu. Not to mention pork in all its forms. Get two to three (at least)

Here we are on one of the first days: That’s me, Josh and Jen (with Tami behind the camera).

.Chairman Bao Bun Truck

Our other Potrero find is Liba Falafel, now appearing Thursdays in Potrero at 155 De Haro.

Perfect for a sunny day, we love the falafel of course. And you’d be silly to skip the sweet potato fries (with lime!). And her tasting bar is a wonder to behold and explore. (rosemary peanuts, harissa (here’s a recipe), olive orange relish, oh my!). That’s me again on the left, Josh, Sandra (back from Phoenix) and Jeff. Leigh’s behind the lens this time thinking about how she can start her own food truck operation.

Tea Team outside Liba Falafel Truck

Liba also moves around so check her Facebook page for the latest and greatest. If you know of any new food trucks in the neighborhood, please comment on this post and keep us in the loop. I’ll be sharing other favorite neighborhood spots (without wheels too) in the weeks to come. Happy tasting!

September 15, 2010

Announcing our Bring Baby Home in Style Sweepstakes!

We know how exciting it is to welcome new babies to the world. To help you get started, Tea, Skip Hop and Tiny Prints are giving away $1,200 in sweet baby essentials to one lucky winner. Enter Our “Bring Baby Home In Style” Sweepstakes today through September 28, 2010.

FROM TEA
a stylish wardrobe of modern and consummately wearable Tea clothing for you and your baby (worth $500)

FROM SKIP*HOP
ultimate mom & baby gift basket filled with cool and essential gear to get you started
(worth $500)

FROM TINY PRINTS
personalized birth announcements to make a big impression
(worth $200)

Bring your baby home in style this Fall!

Full details are available in the Official Rules.

Enter now and don’t forget to share with your friends. Good luck!

September 14, 2010

Congrats to Adopt a Grey Wolf Winner Audrey

Congratulations to our Facebook Adopt a Grey Wolf randomly chosen winner, Audra Saleh! Her 4 year old Lily loves Crocodiles! She runs around snapping her arms wide! Audra and Lily will soon be the proud foster parents of their very own grey wolf.

We received 98 entries and they were all wild and wooly fun! Here are just a few:

Sarah Teo What an honor this would be! My 4, almost 5 yr old son has always loved the crafty fox.

Loretta Duncan My 4 year old daughter loves all animals but particularly snakes (boa constrictors) and spiders (tarantulas)! Not like her mummy!!!! We went to Costa Rica and Puerto Rico so she is obsessed with the rainforest.

Maria Colon-Mingo Roar!!! Definitely the lion but my two year old son does have a soft spot for turtles…

Nancy Austin Patterson My 6-year old loves elephants, and my 2-year old loves bears… or at least he likes to growl like a bear and then shout “Bear! Bear!”

Teresa Ross I just asked my son Julian and he said “snake.” I think the answer would be different every day ;-)

Erin Fitzgerald Ellie loves stingrays. She is especially partial to the Southern and Blue Spotted varieties :-)

Amy Phillips This is perfect, because my daughter’s favorite animal is a grey wolf! We have a book called “Grey Wolf Pup” that she reads every night, and a cuddly wolf toy to snuggle with. I think we will be adopting a wolf even if we don’t win! Thanks for sharing!

You can see all the entries on our Facebook page.

Read more about World Wildlife Fund‘s Adopt-an-Animal programs.