Category Archives: We Love…

April 9, 2013

Story Time

 

“Tonight you get to pick three books!” Sound familiar?

Whether it’s a nightly routine, an afternoon activity or a monthly trip to the book store, reading with children is one of the greatest bonding experiences we have with our little ones. Together we’re able to travel to far away places to meet heros and Kings, giggle with talking animals, and escape reality. As fun and whimsical as children’s books may be, they truly help our little citizens gain a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. We believe it’s important that we introduce multicultural books into our nightly routines to open their eyes to the great big world they’re part of.

Today we’re sharing three of our favorite South African children’s books with you in hopes that they’ll be incorporated into your routine in one way or another!

 

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales, Various Authors and Illustrators

32 of Nelson Mandela’s favorite African folktales bound into one book. These stories have been passed down from generation to generation in Africa, now it’s time you share them in your home in hopes that the stories will live on through new generations worldwide. Complete with a map, you can see where each story originates. Travel through Africa by way of story with your little one with this beautiful collection of tales!


The Mother of Monsters, Retold by Fran Parnell and illustrated by Sophie Fatus

The Chief’s daughter Ntombi, isn’t afraid of the frightening Ilunge River like everyone else. When she goes there for a swim she finds a very unhappy monster, Mother of Monsters, causing more trouble than she could ever imagine!

 

The Gift of the Sun, Diane Stewart and Jude Daly

Thulani loves to bask in the sun, but life as a farmer leaves little time for this. One night he has an idea to exchange his troublesome goat for a sheep, the first trade of many in hopes of making his life easier. With every trade, his wife becomes more and more irritated until one day, Thulani receives a gift from the sun that will ultimately change his life forever.

 

 

 

March 25, 2013

Global Baby Girls

Global Baby Girls

We are so pleased to share with you the latest book from The Global Fund for Children (GFC). Global Baby Girls is more than a collection of beautiful, close-up baby portraits from around the world–it bears an important message that, no matter where they are born, “girls can grow up to change the world.” We asked staff at GFC and our staff at Tea Collection, “Why do baby girls matter to you and to the world?” Be sure to share your thoughts with us as well!

“My daughter, Talia will be seven weeks old on Friday, March 22nd. I could never have imagined feeling such a fierce and intense love. Talia is a global citizen who is strong, bold and bright. Like all baby girls everywhere, she is a blessing to our community and the world over!” –Maya Ajmera,  The Global Fund for Children

“What would this world be without little Princesses? Not the spoiled, holier-than-thou type. The little Princesses who grow up and explore the world around them… The ones who realize they’re just a little piece of this giant puzzle and they’re determined to make their mark on the world. They seek out challenges and are inspired by other cultures, they learn new languages and dream of one day ruling the world. They then raise their own little Princesses, encouraging them to dream big, see big and never lose faith in big hearts.” –Jessie Bandy, Tea Collection

“Baby girls matter to me and the rest of the world because they hold our future in their tiny little hands.” –Sandra Macías del Villar, The Global Fund for Children

“Baby girls are a powerful force for the future. Given support and the tools to succeed, baby girls will grow up to change the world! They will become mothers, sisters, best friends, students, teachers, leaders. They will stand up for what they believe in, they will initiate change and they will fuel growth. They will set the course for generations to come. Each baby girl has a whole world of possibilities ahead of her. And, that is incredibly inspiring.” –Diane DeRousseau, Tea Collection

“Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.  But that old-fashioned adage leaves out the gritty, the bold, the brave, the determined, the free-spirited, the sporty, and the clever.  Today’s baby girls might grow up to be the President, teachers, sports stars, doctors, nurses, artists, and moms – and everything in between.  The possibilities are limitless for so many, but not for all. The most important thing is that every girl everywhere can reach her full promise with all the access, choice, and opportunities she needs to do so.  A girl’s potential should not be defined by where she is born, but determined by her limitless dreams and by the pathways we help create that lead to them.” –Victoria Dunning, The Global Fund for Children

“I do not have a daughter but I have two younger sisters and I remember my excitement when each sister was born. I remember carrying my sister on my hip and feeling a protective pride in this fascinating creature, so full of possibilities. I loved my role in showing the world to them, teaching them how to read and climb trees. Baby girls matter, just as baby boys, because they represent our future and, as society becomes more progressive, their opportunities to lead, influence and change the world are limitless.” –Lydia Bruno, Tea Collection

“Baby girls matter because today, more than ever before, they have the power and opportunity to shape the world we live in and make it better not only for future generations of baby girls, but for babies of all genders and backgrounds. I am raising my “baby girl” (now 7) to be mindful of the privileges she enjoys, growing up in the U.S. today, thanks to the tenacity, energy and spirit of those who came before her. I’m hoping she will strive to pay it forward.” –Esther Buss, Tea Collection

“Baby girls are a promise for our future. They are future mothers and providers for their children. And we need to make sure our baby girls know their innate power to shape the world for the coming generations.” –Teresa Weathington, The Global Fund for Children

 

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!