Author Archives: Sara

About Sara

Sara works in the marketing and social media departments at Tea. She's an avid animal lover, proud (and slightly crazy) cat owner, and general enthusiast for adventure! A Midwestern born & raised gal turned New Yorker, then Bostonian, and now, finally, a California girl, Sara's loving the Cali sun, mountainous landscape, and taco trucks but hasn't yet traded in saying 'wicked' for 'hella.' She hopes to one day swim with sharks, visit Croatia, and complete a marathon.

June 27, 2012

Activity Printout: Katut Motorbike

Did we see a rooster riding a motorbike when we stopped by Katut’s shop? In Bali, many fourth-born children are named Katut. This means you could have the same name as many of your friends!

free coloring book pageDownload your cultural activity printout here: Katut Motorbike

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!

 

June 26, 2012

The “Reality” of Parenting

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].

boy with spidermanBefore we moved to India, our kids were at that perfect age for splendiferous birthday parties.  The kind where you could simply have a friend’s older child dress up in a costume to surprise the birthday child. The type of parties where “theme party” meant matching plates, napkins and silverware.  When we had those types of parties, the cake was artfully crafted by yours truly (the process included licking my fingers as I frosted) and the balloons didn’t have helium.

Birthday Party in India

At a birthday party in Delhi where it's very common for parents to have elephant or camel rides as a main attraction.

When we arrived in our first foreign land, I was blown away by the extravagance, carnival atmosphere, the pressure of everything that was married with anything “party.”  I was consistently under-dressed in my shorts and tank top, and never felt like our birthday gift was quite enough.

 

 

I started to explore the excess. What is it that my kiddos really want?

More than a high-fallutin’ birthday party, they want to know that they matter.  They don’t care if the goody bags adhere to the theme and they sure aren’t bothered with what the invitations look like.

Instead of artfully done up (over the top) lunch boxes and mini cookie cutter sandwiches, little ones really just want us to turn OFF the tv / youtube, sit with them at the table and ask questions about their day.

I often hear parents say that on the weekends they feel pressured into doing instead of being.  Regardless of  family dynamics, our littles just want to be with us.  We don’t have to spend big bucks on entertainment.  Downsize.  Simplify.  Don’t do, just be.

In the age of recording virtually every waking moment (instagram, facebook, tumblr, etc. and etc.), please know that while photographs/photo books record amazing memories for generations to come, often times our children secretly wish that we would put down the camera and experience the moment right along with them.  I sometimes purposefully leave my camera at home on family outings. It’s empowering not to feel the need to capture every moment with a camera, but instead with my own two eyes.

Finally, for us social media freaks (I’m a self-proclaimed addict), let’s not get too soaked up in what everyone else is doing.  We’ll forever be behind-the-times when it comes to beautiful instagram photos, creative picnics and afternoon playdate planning.  Let’s not let someone else’s ‘reality’ dictate ours.

June 13, 2012

Introducing Destination: Nordic Design


Children's clothes inspired by Scandinavian Design

The photos above are from our children’s clothes designers’ cameras. Whenever they travel abroad for inspiration, they take many, many photos which they later use to reflect upon when developing patterns and graphics for each collection.

Our fall 2012 children’s clothes line will be inspired by Scandinavia, a region with bright colors, clean designs, and whimsical graphics. We’ll be exploring Nordic design with some fresh Finland cuts and colors, a touch of the Swedish scene and modern Danish fashion. Fall is going to be packed with style, check back with us tomorrow at teacollection.com to view the fall collection preview.

Share with us below, what do you love about our new fall destination?

June 4, 2012

May’s Activity Book Contest Winner

Thank you everyone who entered our May Activity Book Coloring Contest! As always, it’s hard to pick just one winner with so many amazing budding artists.

This time we say congrats to Ryan, who beautifully colored Ganesh.

Tea Collection Coloring Book Contest

We also want to take a minute to highlight some of the honorable mentions. Below on the left is a little citizen who enjoyed coloring our Mermaid  page and on the right is Mile’s who loves our Jaguar coloring book page.

Tea Collection Coloring Book ContestTea Collection Coloring Book 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 cultural activity printouts blog tag.

 

June 1, 2012

Bedtimes, Jet Lag and Time Zones

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].

creative ways to beat jet lag with kids

Our family is very soon set to begin another relocation and pretty big move across yet another ocean.  As we start to organize our passports and boarding passes, my thoughts fall quickly to jet lag and bedtimes!

Our typical experience with the dreaded jet lag is that it takes us ONE full day of adjustment for each time zone that we’ve crossed (so from India to Nebraska, we figure on nine days).  That’s a lot of days that can end up “wasted” unless you look at it creatively!

Fill a small bag with new items (yes NEW!), including a flashlight and explain to your children that when their bodies wake them up and it’s still the middle of the night, that instead of fully getting out of bed, they can use their flashlight and read in bed, or color on the floor right near their bed.   As soon as we get UP and out of bed, we instantly tell our bodies to cease from resting.  It isn’t a perfect solution, but it can offer some extra time for mom and dad to get some shut-eye.

Creative Ways to Beat Jet Lag
Another thing to remember with jet lag is that often your kiddos have NO choice but to fall asleep in the middle of dinner a couple of days after you’ve arrived.  Heavy lids, droopy limbs and a need for sleep that is impossible to resist is so normal.  Stave it off by getting as MUCH sunlight as possible during the day and stay away from processed sugars!

Bedtimes are another struggle in our household, no matter which time zone we’re in.  Try starting the process just 30 minutes earlier than normal!  Depending on the age of your children (our two youngest are currently 5 and 8), it can make a WORLD of difference!  After just ONE week of an earlier bedtime, we notice that our children are more rested in the morning (even if they get the same amount of sleep overnight) and even eat better during the following day!

When do your little travelers go to bed?  How do you help your family adjust from jet lag?

May 30, 2012

Eating in Hong Kong

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).

Michelle, a graphic designer at Tea, recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong. She is a foodie at heart and couldn’t wait to share her favorite Asian fish dishes on our Studio T blog.

Coming to Hong Kong feels like coming home. Being able to see my family and come back to the place that I grew up in is both exciting and comforting. Luckily I make a trip there every 5 years, but it never ceases to amaze me how much Hong Kong changes every single time I come back.

Traveling in Hong Kong

Michelle outside of Hung Kee Seafood Restaurant

I travel to Hong Kong to visit family, eat delicious local foods, and to shop. The one place that is a must for me to visit is Hung Kee Seafood Restaurant in Sai Kung. It is where you can get the freshest seafood possible. It is located along the water, and the fisherman sell the seafood right off the boat.

Traveling in Hong Kong

If you want it cooked, you can step into one of the many restaurants located along the edge of the water. The fish tanks are huge, and have such an exotic variety. You pick the seafood that you want from the tanks and they bag it for you right away and ask you how you want it served.

Traveling in Hong KongTraveling in Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can fry it, sauté it, steam it, or have it sashimi style. Here are my recommendations below:

I highly recommend the Geoduck sashimi style. The meat is sweet yet slightly briny. It’s so fresh, you can really taste the difference.

Geoduck sashimi style

Geoduck Sashimi Style

The Pissing Shrimp is another must. It is native to this region and the meat is a cross between shrimp and lobster. We had it fried with
garlic and peppers.

Pissing Shrimp

Pissing Shrimp

The Razor Clams were another crowd pleaser. We had ours sauteed in a black bean sauce. Sweet and crunchy, it is a heartier than the average clam, but possess a clean flavor.

Razor Clams

Razor Clams

Steamed prawns are always a must. The soy sauce with jalapenos compliment the sweetness of the shrimp perfectly.

 

Steamed Prawns

Steamed Prawns

Miniature abalone sauteed in oyster sauce provided a very meaty and satisfying flavor and had a sweet finish.

 

Miniature Abalone
Miniature Abalone

Gigantic Tiger Prawns baked in garlic butter. Do I really need to say more?

 

Gigantic Tiger Prawns

Gigantic Tiger Prawns

 

ENJOY!

May 29, 2012

Whimsical London

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).

Isabelle, a Technical Designer at Tea, recently returned from a trip to London. She enjoys exploring new destinations, flowers, and  her favorite dish, kale. When she’s not eating kale, she enjoys a pastries.

I have been to London twice before and knew that on my most recent trip that I didn’t want to see sights I have already seen. I also wanted my trip to be less about being a tourist and more about just relaxing and enjoying good food with good company. I found that just taking time to wander and discover a city without any pressure to do anything meant discovering fanciful things that make me smile. Here are a collection of things that delighted me on my trip.

Traveling through London

The (Un)Birthday balloons that got away.

Traveling in London

Parked petals in Notting Hill

Traveling in London

More room for the local birds on Duncan Terrace Park.

Traveling in London

We stumbled upon an art opening in East London one night. There were colorful characters there for sure.

Traveling in London

Sky high sewing machines at All Saints Spitalfields.

Traveling in London

Lost in the “Looking Glass” Bathroom at Nopi.

Traveling in London

Rhubarb cakes at Ottolenghi.

Traveling in London

My trip wouldn’t be complete without tea! And believe me, London knows and loves their tea. And, I love my (T)ea too!

May 21, 2012

Discovering Fashion in Paris

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).

Ana, who works in Tea’s creative department, recently returned from a trip to Paris. Check out her adventures!

When I’m in Paris to visit my family, I make it a habit to take one afternoon to go by myself to explore a museum exhibit. More often than not, I end up at the museum of Les Arts Decoratifs – Mode et Textile. The two floors dedicated to fashion seem pretty small at first but never let down.

This time the exhibit was on Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs. Marc Jacobs has been the creative director at Louis Vuitton since 1997 and is head designer for Marc Jacobs as well as Marc by Marc Jacobs. In 2010, he made Time’s list for the 100 most influential people in the world.

I had never looked at these brands’ beginnings so the exploration through the world of Vuitton the malletier was a treat. From the perfect wardrobe display to the development of the trademark print, it caught me by surprise that his creations have been around since 1854.

Louis Vuitton Exhibit at the Museum of Les Arts Decoratifs – Mode et Textile.

On my way up to the Marc Jacobs’ part of the exhibit, the mood changed from classic to black and loud. The displays had all the Marc Jacobs’ design aesthetic but still held on to the Vuitton tradition in a special way. Even the Spring dresses that were all about pastels fashioned in candy store ads, looked right at home in the black environment.

Pastel Dress at Museum Exhibit

Just for fun I ended my visit to the museum stopping by the special exhibit: The History of Babar. I noticed that I was the only adult that wasn’t toting children through this exhibit.  However, I believe spending a little bit of time in the children’s world was just what I needed to start sketching again and looking at life with different eyes for the rest of the trip.

 

May 9, 2012

Inspiration: Jane Goodall

At Tea, we seek inspiration in many ways.  From looking to Frida Kahlo for our Fall 2011 Modern Mexico collection, to the beauty of the Legong dancers who appear throughout our Bali collection. One Tea hero who has taken more of a background role is the amazing Jane Goodall.

You can imagine our excitement when she recently complimented the beauty of our Ginger Flower Dress when she saw it blogger Maureen’s daughter  at the premiere of “Chimpanzee.”

Jane Goodall

To read more about Maureen’s review of Chimpanzee, visit her blog post.

May 7, 2012

Countdown to Special Events

Today we’re featuring 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 littles and an Indian street dog.  She blogs about their life (including an upcoming relocation to Singapore) at Delhi Bound [http://delhibound.com].

Using recycled toilet paper rolls and your imagination, create a fun and unique way to count down the days until upcoming special events!

When I was a little girl, my mom would often help us make paper chains to count down to special events.  As my kids grew up in Ohio, we did the same.  These chains marked the big summer vacation, or when daddy would come home from a business trip.

Fast forward to our lives abroad and we have graduated a bit from the paper chain variety!

Recently, I created a countdown for the kids, to mark our next big journey, a relocation to Singapore from New Delhi, India.

Ask your friends and family for some help and collect toilet paper rolls.  It takes some time to accumulate 31 + rolls!  Enlist the help of your children and paint the rolls a myriad of colors and then add a number to each one – one for each day of the countdown.

DIY Toliet Paper Tubes Activity

[One option is to instead have an advent-type calendar and simply label the tube with the actual date of the month, but we opted to use it backwards, whereby the roll with the number 1 on it, served as the one opened before the BIG day!]

Staple the bottom of the tubes shut. I hung our tubes on a long strip of ribbon that was affixed to the wall with nails (simple!).  Then, inside each roll, place handwritten or typed instructions.  Some suggestions?

  • Ice Cream at your favorite shop
  • New crayons (or markers, or stickers – based on your kiddos age and preference)
  • Have a sleepover in the living room
  • Play dress-up and have a makeup party with mama
  • Wrap up your siblings in toilet paper
  • Pick some flowers and have dinner on the floor like a picnic
  • YOU choose what we have for dinner!
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood and photograph interesting things
  • Decorate your car!
  • Shaving Cream in the Shower!
  • Surprise your teachers tomorrow with cinnamon rolls

DIY Toliet Paper Tube Chain
Each morning during this project, your children get to wake up and pull the instructions for the day.  Once they have “drawn for the day” remove that day’s tube from the ribbon, so that they can visually SEE the remaining days left until the countdown is concluded.

Get creative!  I would love to hear your ideas for additions to this list.  What would your children enjoy?