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.

May 4, 2012

April Activity Book Winner!

Thank you everyone for participating in our April Activity Book Contest! We are always overwhelmed with all of the talent.  Tea fans surely are the most creative little citizens. Congrats to Chiara who created this awesome Jaguar mask from our Modern Mexico Activity Book.

Coloring Book Contest

We also have two honorable mentions listed below. Jacob’s (age 6) Shy Frog on the left and Mia’s (age 7) Balinese Mermaid Goddess on the right.

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.

 

May 3, 2012

Snorkeling in Mexico

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).

Laura, who works in Product Development, recently returned from a trip to Mexico. Check out her adventure below!

I turned 30 in January. To celebrate my husband and I went to Tulum, Mexico.  It was amazing!

I’m not one for tours, but we had a photographer/guide along with us one day and it was awesome. He showed us some of the best places to swim and snorkel in the area. He led the way and showed us the best path to take through the water and where the best spots were for pictures. At the end of the day, we had a disc full of memories to take with.

We started at at Dos Ojos, which is a Cenote, or freshwater sink hole. The water is around 30 feet deep and the cavern walls are covered with stalactite and stalagmite formations. There is very little light, but in some areas the sunlight filters in, giving it a magical and spooky feeling. The water is beautiful, clear and filled with small fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Akumal Bay we swam with turtles and rays.

Akuma Bay Turtle in Mexico

We also swam around a lagoon called Yal-Ku. The water was warm and there were so many fish it felt like swimming in a fish tank!

May 2, 2012

Traveling Rome: A Child’s Perspective

Today we’re featuring guest bloggers Kristen Daniel, a teacher at San Francisco Friends School, and her two girls Lilly (10) & Clem (8), stylistas in-training and adventure enthusiasts, who just returned home from their trip to Rome. They explored the city and are excited to present all of its wonders through the lens of a little citizen. While on their trip, the girls modeled items from our Spring Bali girls clothes collection.

Looking for a walkable city rich with archeological and architectural sites and, most importantly, delicious food, we settled on a trip to Rome during our daughters’ spring break.  We rented an apartment in the cobblestoned Roman neighborhood of Trastevere and spent many hours wandering its medieval maze of backstreets.  Arriving in Rome on a dazzlingly bright Easter Sunday morning instantly transported us from the San Francisco fog.  Lily, 10, and Clementine, 8, soaked up the spring sun and slurped up the amatriciana.

Winding through the narrow streets away from the crush of vendors selling mini-Colosseums, a doll repair shop’s window display caught Lily’s eye.

traveling to Rome with kids

“This caught my eye because it was only doll heads.  No bodies and definitely no full dolls!” -Lily

Emails and texts are ok when stateside, but nothing beats getting a postcard in the mail stamped with official Italian francobollos.

Traveling with kids in Rome

“I got stamps from a little corner store and asked for them myself. ” – Clem

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“I’m mailing a letter to a friend! The mailboxes are pretty high to reach.” – Clem

Contemporary Roman graffiti decorated the backstreets of Trastevere, reminding us of the San Francisco Mission District close to home.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“I really liked this graffiti because I couldn’t really figure out what the expression of the women was.  At the bottom of the picture you can see cobblestones, and we had to walk on them all day!” – Lily

Waving to kids on their way home from school translates easily.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

Long lines can bring out the sillies.  Clem accessorized her dress with a belt and sunglasses and worked out some energy in the courtyard at the Vatican museums.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“It was SUPER hot dancing and prancing around!” – Clem

An attempt to step off the cobblestones for a bit needed a helping hand.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“On the little path of stone, there were lots of big gaps so I almost fell over while taking the picture.” – Clem

Part of the fun was learning to dexterously manipulate the public drinking fountains like a real Roman.  Delicious,  fresh, and free water was available in almost every piazza.   It took some practice before we could have a sip and keep our shoes dry.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“This was the most hard thing and the most fun thing in Rome.  I probably soaked my feet 5 million times!” – Lily

Nothing beats a gelato after hours of pounding the cobblestones.  Best gelato in Rome?  The gelateria closest to your apartment or hotel.   Stracciatella and nocciola got the best reviews from our discerning tasters more accustomed to Mitchell’s mango or grasshopper pie.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“It’s always a little chilly in the afternoon and gelato made it colder, but at least it tasted good!”  - Clem


 

April 27, 2012

Cultural Activity Printout: Surf Break

Looking to take a break? How about a Surf Break?

Free Coloring Book Page

Download your cultural activity printout here: Surf Break

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!

 

April 20, 2012

Cultural Activity Printout: Connect the Dots

Looking for a little Bali surf adventure? Connect the Dots in this week’s cultural activity printout to discover what’s riding the Kuta Beach waves alongside your board.

Free Coloring Book Page

Download your cultural activity printout here: Connect the Dots

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! To see past submissions, visit our Flickr page.

April 17, 2012

How to Batik (kid-friendly!)

Our Bali-inspired children’s clothes collection featured the craft of Batik, an art form we saw and practiced while in Bali. Traditional Batiks are created with hot wax, in a dying technique which allows the craftsman to form lush patterns and designs.  We wanted to find a way for little citizens to Batik that was safe.  Below is our step-by-step guide on how-to Batik- no hot wax needed! All you need is  glue, paint, a t-shirt and an open mind!

I chose to Batik a shirt- however you can Batik any cloth materials.  Think of how much fun it would be to Batik pillow cases?

DIY Batik for Kids

You'll need a shirt, a piece of cardboard to stick between your shirt, acrylic paints, washable gel glue, and a paint brush.

The first step is to design your Batik pattern.  You’ll use the glue to do this. It can be a little tricky to wield the glue, so you may want to have your little ones practice glue drawing on cardboard first.  You can also map out your design first with pencil. I also used a scrap piece of cardboard to put in the shirt so the glue wouldn’t seep through to the back of the shirt.

Kid Friendly Batik DIY

Where ever you put the glue will be white. The color will show through the negative space. Pretty cool, huh?

The next step is hardest. You have to wait for the glue to dry and this will take at least 24 hours.  Playing the waiting game can be hard when you have little citizens eager to paint!

Once the glue is completely dry, break out your acrylic paints, your paint brush, a mixing area, and a water bowl to clean the brush and start painting! While painting, you’ll want to keep the the piece of cardboard inside the shirt for the same reason you kept it in while gluing- you don’t want the paint to leak through to the back of the shirt.

DIY Batik For Kids

Once the Batik is painted, leave it in a safe place where the paint can dry. This will probably take at least 12 hours.  Once dry, you can either peel off the glue or put it in the washing machine. I chose the latter as it was much easier and had great results. Check out my finished Batik shirt below.

DIY Kid-Friendly Batik ProjectThe picture minimalizes the cool effect the process created.  The colors are much more vibrant and the designs pop more in person. All-in-all, this is a great project for those looking to craft a gift for a loved one (Mother’s Day or Father’s Day Batiks?).

Please share your Batiks with our community at Facebook. We’d love to see your little citizens artful, Bali-inspired work!

April 16, 2012

Hertiage is Great: Exploring Britain

Today we’re featuring guest blogger Linh Tran, who traveled to Britain with her two kids, daughter age 3, son age 5.

Traveling with Kids

Britain.  The only thing that caught my eye as my family and I shuffled through customs at Heathrow airport after a red-eye flight was a banner by the Heritage Foundation of a castle reading, “Heritage is GREAT Britain.”  Apropos, this trip to England will my children’s first trip to visit their grandparents where they will probably have a memory of it in the future.  We hoped to show the children around Essex, where their father grew up, give them a taste of English pastimes and flavors, and teach them a bit of the queen’s English.

Traveling with Kids

First up was a walk along a footpath behind granddad’s house.  Nothing better to beat jet lag than fresh air and sunshine.  We learned the hard way to avoid the prickly nettle leaves and how, thankfully, mother nature creates balance by growing dock leaves close by to soothe the sting.  The biggest hit near granddad’s house was not feeding the horses or finding the most feathers on our walk, but the zip line at the local playground where the children can sit and zip between two posts.

Traveling with KidsThere was another zip line at a playground by the seafront in the town of Maldon, where generations of my husband’s family were born and bred.  Cool fact my son found out was that his great great great grandmother was born in The Queen’s Head pub, still operational today.  The children enjoyed seeing all the barges and sailors working on their sails as we walked along the estuary.  We had lunch on the high street and the children surprised us by eating their entire portion of fish whereas they left lots of chips on their plate.  We also introduced them to Cornish pasties, sausage rolls, Yorkshire pudding, smarties push ups, and no trip to the UK is complete without a copious amount of Cadbury’s chocolate.  They delighted in tasting the local favorite Rossi ice cream in Southend-on-Sea.  We had a tragic family-sitcom moment when 2 licks into my daughter’s ice cream cone, it fell to the ground and rolled down the slope.  My son generously shared his cone and we perked them both up with carnival rides and mini golf on the beach front at Adventure Island.

Traveling With Kids

By the end of our week long visit, the children began sounding British when they asked for more biscuits, bananas, and ice lollies.     They started using words like lorry, boot, queue, and cheers.  Most importantly, they reconnected with their grandparents and got a glimpse of what life might be like growing up in Essex.  Heritage is great, indeed.

Traveling with KidsTraveling with Kids

April 6, 2012

March’s Coloring Contest Winner!

Thank you everyone for participating in our March Coloring Contest! We loved looking through all of the amazing submissions- Tea fans are quite the artists!  Congrats to Lauren who created a beautiful offering pictured below.

Online Coloring Contest for Kids

We also have two honorable mentions: Gisele (left) and Liam (right). Great job everyone and keep creating!

Browse all 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 ourcultural activity printouts blog tag.

March 28, 2012

Behind the Design: Batik

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

The art of Batik is practiced throughout the world, but Bali is the place most known for the artful practice. Batik is a wax-resistant dying technique used on textiles to produce beautiful designs. While in Bali, our designers had a chance to practice their hand at Batiking.

Batik in Bali

We knew we had to incorporate the breath-taking batiks into our Balinese-inspired collection.  The colors and designs naturally lent themselves to our girls dress collection.  Our staff favorite is our Lotus Batik Designs for girls.

Batik girls dresses and rompers

However, we have plenty of Batik inspired designs for boys and girls in our spring and summer collections: http://bit.ly/GWvGiM

Will you be wearing Bali-inspired Batiks this spring?