Category Archives: We Love…

February 28, 2013

Fun in the sun (Part 1)

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).
Emilynne, our excel whiz , traveled to her home away from home to the sunny and humid group of islands in the Pacific.

Last October/November I took a short hike halfway across the world to visit my sister for her semester break in the Philippines. A lot of the school holidays in the Philippines do fall,slightly suspiciously, during major Catholic Feast Days. This means that the Triduum of All Hallows, Christmas, and Holy Week are all holidays that the children may observe with family.

Traveling pictures in the airport.

Look at the handwritten plane ticket.

Once I heard about this break, I jumped at the opportunity to visit my mom and my sister, travel a bit of my parents’ home-country, and (most importantly) soak in some sun and warmth!

We did a small amount of traveling, but kept it relatively simple for this go-around as two of my friends (pretty much my sisters by everything but blood) were flying in and out of Manila via slightly different itineraries. My friend Radhika and I got in one evening and our first stop was Taal Vista Resort in Tagaytay, about an hour south of Manila. The resort has a stunning view of the Taal Volcano.

Taal Volcano in the distance

Look closely and Taal Volcano is the island in the middle of the lake.

Yes, that is an active volcano. In fact, people are not allowed to settle on the island, and even the resort we were staying in is technically within the danger zone. It’s hard to believe that this is an active volcano, which had quite a bit of activity as recently as July 2011, when you look at all the lush foliage surrounding it.

February 15, 2013

Key Layering Pieces

Take key pieces from winter into spring.  Make them work extra time by mixing and matching.  Double up on layers for the colder months and when it starts to get warmer, leave the long layer at home.
Here is one of our favorite layered girls outfits:

Girls Layered Look

Flower Petal Sunset Outfit

Polokwane Hoodie
Flower Petal Top
Sunset Stripe Twirl Skort
Saltwater Sandals in Yellow

For the little guy in your life, shop our Rhinos and Stripes boys outfit:

 

Boys layered outfit

Rhino and Stripes Outfit

Sharp Sharp Chinos
Grazing Rhino Polo
Ubuntu Stripe Hoodie in Cayenne
Vans Authentic Checkboard

January 21, 2013

A Call to Serve

Martin Luther King Jr and his daughter.

A softer side of MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr once proclaimed, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”  So, how are your honoring MLK Jr and his legacy?  Twenty-seven years ago President Reagan signed MLK Jr Day into existence and catapulted a ‘can do’ and ‘will help’ attitude into the American radar.  This willingness to lend a hand has been celebrated in South Africa for many decades, centuries even.  Ubuntu is the idea that we are all interconnected and what happens to you happens to me.  Desmond Tutu defined it as when a human knows “that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated… the essence of being human.” We can’t live without each other and we need to help one another out.

The idea of generosity and the call to serve has struck a special chord in Tadatoshi Akiba’s heart (Mayor of Hiroshima from 1999-2011).  He loved the call to action so much that he declared MLK Jr Day a holiday.  This really is a global celebration.  How will your honor MLK Jr?  Share with us on Facebook.  Remember every day can be a day of service to your community.

Check out Tea School Days- a no brainer to raise money for your child’s school.

*Image courtesy of Family Goes Strong.

January 11, 2013

DIY Safety Pin Bracelet

diy safety pin bracelet steps

Make your own safety pin bracelet!

Step 1:  Start beading your safety pins.  We put 5 seed beads (size 6/0) onto each small safety pin.   As you are beading start to envision a desirable pattern or make it completely random for a kaleidoscope effect.
*Please note since sharp objects are involved, this craft is for children 8 years and up.
Step 2: Make sure you use needle nose pliers to clamp each safety pin permanently closed.  No booboos here!
Step 3:  Cut two pieces of elastic 5 inches longer than the circumference of your child’s wrist.
Step 4: Tie a knot with the two pieces of elastic.  Start stringing your safety pins in the desirable pattern.  We did all the tops on the top string and all the bottoms on the other.
Step 5:  When you are done beading, tie a knot on each elastic cord (top and bottom separately).  Then knot with the other side to create a full circle.

Two girls in South African inspired clothes.

Wear our Rosebank Mini Dress and Mtititi Floral Tunic Top withyour safety pin bracelet.

Wear your safety pin bracelet with any of our girls dresses or girls tops.  We really liked how the yellow beads complimented the yellow accents in our Rosebank Mini Dress.   Get creative with your bracelet patterns and girls outfits and share with us on our Facebook.

December 20, 2012

Discover the World Tree of Hope

The World Tree of Hope decorates San Francisco’s City Hall.  Since 2006, the Rainbow World Fund (RWF) has encouraged individuals to inscribe wishes of peace and hope on 7,000 paper cranes that adorn a 25 foot tree.  Over the years, the tree has come to symbolize hope for the future.  It has evolved into a global symbol that has come to represent different cultures, sexual orientations, spiritual beliefs, and points of view.  If you could wish for something, what would you wish for?  Share with us on Tea’s Facebook.

San Francisco's World Tree of Hope

What’s your wish this year?

Cranes inscribed with wishes for a brighter future.

Closeup of the cranes.

Images courtesy of My Modern Met.

 

December 16, 2012

DIY: Holiday Gift Wrapping

We are well into the holiday season and it’s finally time to wrap some gifts.  Tired of the same old printed paper? Why not make your own?  You can purchase plain brown paper or even go green and use the inside of a brown paper bag.

Reasons we liked brown wrap paper:

1)  Your creativity can run wild- stamps, glitter, markers and more! You have a blank canvas to create.
2) You can personalize each gift.
3) It’s good for every occasion (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries etc)

Below are some ways we wrapped up our holiday gifts using, neon yarn, letter stamps, a brown paper bag, glittered pine cones, and of course glitter!

Neon string wrapped package.

Who doesn’t love a monogrammed present?

Show some color this holiday season.

Why not give them a sneak peek of the gift?

A fancy brown bag present with glitter and a snowflake.

A spruced up brown paper bag is an easy way to wrap a small gift.

Monochrome and monogram an instant classic.

Any budding fashionista will love the on-trend monochrome look.

Share this post with your friends.  Tis the season of giving. Happy wrapping!

 

December 14, 2012

DIY: Neon Dipped Pine Cones

Here’s a fun twist to pine cones during the holidays.  We thought it would be fun to add a pop of color to our cinnamon scented pine cones.  It’s a guaranteed good time with your kids.  Make sure your child can operate a paint brush and you are in business.

Scissors, pinecone, neon paint, stamp pad

All the supplies you need for neon dipped pine cones.

It’s best to squeeze your paint onto a paper plate for easy application onto your paint brush.

Step 1: Hold the pine cone by the top branch, and apply a generous amount of paint onto your paint brush and dab the edge of the pine cone.  Make sure you get an even coat as this provides for a more vibrant color.  From trial and error, we learned it’s best to start working your way up from the bottom otherwise you’ll end up with neon hand prints all over your furniture.

Step 2: Let it dry overnight.

Step 3: We thought it would be fun to cut name tags from card stock.  We stamped our names on them. These are great placecards for your holiday dinner party or dip a whole bunch of pine cones and display them in a glass vase.  We used them around the office for some holiday pizazz.  The possibilities are endless.

Neon dipped pine cone name cards.

Our finished product!

Share this post with your friends & leave a comment if you try this activity. We’d love to hear about your experience!

November 29, 2012

A taste of Thailand: Bangkok

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).

Kelly and Cristy, part of our power house sales team, traveled to Thailand for the first time together. Read more about their adventures here.

First stop: Bangkok.

The song is right. One night in Bangkok WILL make a tough man humble! What a modern and bustling city. I think it must rival NYC as the city that never sleeps. What stuck out to us here was the contrast of how very modern the city was but with so much history and culture sprinkled through it. Looking out over the city from our hotel room were tall hotel buildings surrounded by small bazaars and restaurants…and every few miles you would see the amazing tips of a golden temple reaching up through the craze as if to say “Don’t forget me!”  Riding down the street in our Tuk Tuk we would pass busy merchants, 7 Elevens, and school children in uniform making their way home…..and then right in the middle of it all, a Spirit House cloaked in fresh flowers and a glowing candle no doubt recently lit by a very thankful Thai. Even walking through the markets crammed with vendors selling all types of food and wears you would be passed by monks in their vibrant orange robes making their way on some errand. Such an amazing contrast and a constant reminder of where the Thai people came from and what they hold sacred.

We were able to get in a visit to one our favorite manufacturers while in Thailand (think girls knit dresses and boys French Terry bottoms!). Mahin and Samsuk were kind enough to take us to dinner on our first night in Bangkok to ‘debrief’ us and make suggestions on things we shouldn’t miss while in Thailand. Their best suggestion, in our opinion, was the Weekend Market. Wow! This was a shopper’s paradise. This HUGE shopping market was filled with stalls of vendors selling anything from antiques to traditional Thai spices. This market had it all! My favorite was the contrast between vendors…one stall was selling ornate textiles made by hand and loom in the same fashion Thai’s have been making textiles for centuries and next to him was a very hip young woman selling these amazing clutches that she had made herself. Beautiful handmade leather clutches and wallets that had then been spray painted with designs or embellished with studs and embroidery. I’m bummed I didn’t buy one for myself. Kelly was excited about the stations for quick foot and back massages as we spent quite some time wandering this vast marketplace!

The food was amazing everywhere we went. I must admit that both Kelly and I brought granola bars from home on this trip just in case there wasn’t much for us to eat…neither of us eats very spicy foods
(although Kelly is MUCH more adventurous than I!). I’m very glad to report that any spicy-phobic’s out there need not worry. You are able to order everything ‘mild’. We ate very well and both brought most of our granola bars back home. I gained 5 lbs eating as much ‘Drunken Noodles’ as I could get my hands on….not a pretty dish but Holy-Heck was it flavorful!


November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankfulWe wish everyone a joyous and laughter-filled Thanksgiving.  Today is the day to tell your loved ones just how much they mean to you.  Better yet show them.  Share a hug and a smile with everyone you see today.  We are thankful for the chance to share our world with you.  Thank you for welcoming us into your live