Tag Archives: celebrations

Inspiring Mom Awards: Globetrotter

Inspiring Mom Awards

This month Tea wanted to celebrate the inspiring moms in our community with the IMAs and recognize their accomplishments.  We have received over 110 nominations of mothers who you said inspire you.  To help us narrow down our semi- finalists, we gathered a panel of model citizens who we thought embodied the values.  Meet two of our model citizens today from our globetrotting category- Stella Ma and Caren McCormack.  We thought it would be fun to get to know our model citizens a little bit better, so we asked them a couple of questions to see what inspires them.

Stella Ma one globetrotting model citizen.

Stella Ma is a Bay Area native who Co-Founded Little Passports, a great way to introduce the world to your little citizen.  Each month your little citizen will be sent a suitcase bursting with information about a country’s geography, history, culture, and language. You can discover her amazing company here: http://www.littlepassports.com/

Stella Ma: Globetrotter
1. How do you maintain a healthy work and home life balance?
Running a start-up while trying to raise a family is definitely a challenge. I’m driven to work hard but it’s just as important to me that I’m there for the family.  We always have dinner together, and I make sure to take time to be there for my children whether it’s attending field trips, helping with homework or taking them to extracurricular activities/classes.

2. What’s your favorite aspect about being a mom?
I love all the wonderful small moments and experiences that I get to share with my children. At pick-up last week, my younger son told me that I was his best friend.  A few weeks back, my older son told me that he’s going to work for me when he grows up because he loves Little Passports.

3. Do you have a piece of advice for moms everywhere?
I’m trying very hard to live in the moment and not worry about the next thing on the to-do list or schedule.  I can’t say that I’m very good at doing this yet.  It’s so true that our children grow up so quickly.  I want to make sure to take the time to enjoy them as they are now.

4. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
I love green tea lattes.  They’re my pick-me-up!

5. Who inspires you?
My mom is the inspiration in my life.  She immigrated to the states from China not speaking any English and she worked incredibly hard, sometimes working multiple jobs simultaneously, to make a life for our family here in the US.  I now love seeing how my children have a wonderful relationship with their grandmother.  When one of my children was asked in his English homework who inspires him, he answered “Popo” (“grandmother” in Chinese).

Caren McCormack one of our model Globetrotters.

Caren McCormack one of our model Globetrotters. Caren McCormack worked to co-found the Kilgoris Project, a nonprofit that feeds and educates children in a remote Kenyan village.  Each year Caren travels to Kenya with her family (husband and two daughters) to work closely with the organization. Karen was previously also a Foreign Correspondent for Tea and was able to travel to Kenya with a suitcase full of Tea then came home to share her travel experience on our blog, Studio T.  We invite you to read more about the Foreign Correspondent program (http://www.teacollection.com/gothere) and discover Caren’s amazing non-profit here: http://kilgoris.org/

Caren McCormack– Globetrotter
1. How do you maintain a healthy work and home life balance?
Tame the technology. On the work/life balance front, I’m challenging myself to really be present when I’m present. When I’m helping with homework, I’m not also looking at emails. At dinner, I’m not checking texts. My kids appreciate it, and I’m saner.

2. What’s your favorite aspect about being a mom?
The best part of mothering is also the biggest challenge. I love watching my daughters change with each age, blossoming more and more as individuals. The problem? They keep changing! Just when I think I’ve figured out how to best parent them, they’re on to a new stage.

3. Do you have a piece of advice for moms everywhere?
Love the ones you’re with. I’m not sure this is advice, as much as it is cheering on the sisterhood. It’s all we can really do as moms. We just keep showing up and loving our kids as they are, for who they are.

4. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
I’m tempted to give a deep answer here. But let’s be realistic—coffee.

5. Who inspires you?
The Kilgoris Project staff in Kenya! I get to work with such terrific people. Their passion for education, community and possibility makes my jaw drop.

September 23, 2012

Lily at the Emmy’s in Tea!

The following is written by Emily Meyer, Tea Collection’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer.

How awesome is Modern Family the TV show?!  It’s so funny and I just love the weave of contemporary themes and some of the most socially relevant story telling. It turns out that the actress that plays Lily, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, is a huge Tea fan!

I met Aubrey’s mother, Amy Anderson Emmons, at the Mom 2.0 bloggers conference in May … she was super friendly and spoke about managing the social media audience for Aubrey’s fan base.  I introduced myself and she said they knew Tea, that Aubrey even had a couple of pieces … I mentioned that we would LOVE to dress Aubrey for any special occasions.

Well … I was travelling overseas just a few weeks ago and received an email from Amy – she says Aubrey is going to the Emmy’s and asked if we would be interested in dressing her?  Of course!!  What an awesome project and it would be an honor for us!

Marjorie, our designer, was traveling with me – we immediately started brainstorming in the courtyard of our hotel at 12:30am!! Marjorie sketched.  We started with our iconic wrap neckline styling and created a bubble in the skirt for fun, matching Aubrey’s playful personality.  Then we added a sash similar to one we had seen on the traditional Korean costume, called a hanbok.

Lily from Modern Family Wears Tea Collection to Emmys

Our amazing Technical Design team drafted the pattern and made a prototype before we returned home from the trip.  We found beautiful silk taffeta fabric at Britex in downtown San Francisco.  And then I went to LA to visit Aubrey in person to try on the dress.  The sash captivated Aubrey and the wrap neckline was gorgeous on her – elegant and youthful.

Lily from Modern Family wears Tea to Emmy's

Ana, Tea's photographer, with Aubrey as she tries on her Emmy's dress for the first time.

Marjorie traveled to LA herself to help Aubrey get dressed, including final touches, for the big event.

Marjorie helping Aubrey pick out the perfect shoe.

I am so proud of our team for making this happen so fast and so beautifully.  It’s literally the art of couture, globally-inspired, made with heart and soul.

 

June 30, 2012

Activity: Make Brazilian Music

 

Make Brazilian Music Activity!

Tea staff member Cindy has her two children jam out to their own Brazilian-inspired music!

Have your child play the tambourine, guitar, drums, flute, or any other instrument they want to make their own Brazilian music! As they’re rocking out, snap a few pics and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest starts 7/1/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

Brazilian Music Children's Activity

Leigh Rawdon's (Tea Co-Founder) son has fun making Brazilian music!

This activity was inspired by our Boy’s Lapa Polo Shirt. The Lapa Polo first debuted in Destination: Brazil in Spring 2009.

Boys Lapa Polo Shirt

It was named for a neighborhood in Rio with a lively nightlife and has a lively multi-colored dot print. We’re betting it goes with your Little Citizen’s lively personality!

June 29, 2012

The Maasai Jumping Celebration

We’re introducing guest blogger Pam Geller, a freelance marketing consultant, who traveled to Nairobi, Kenya with her three kids, Kayla | 7 yrs, Drew | 6 yrs, and Jenna | 3 yrs, who just happened to be wearing Tea on their trip.

Travel with Kids to Maasai Kraal

When we visited our tour guide Daniel’s Kraal (Maasai rural village, visible in the background of the photos above), we were invited to witness their lion dance which includes jumping.

Travel with kids Jumping Tradition with Maasai

Maasai jumping is a tradition done at celebrations like a wedding.  The highest jumper gets the most ladies (of course)! They were kind enough to invite us to try. Check out of the video of us taking part in the Maasai jumping tradition.

 


 

February 14, 2012

5 Easy Valentine’s Day Activities

Alright, it’s Valentine’s Day.  You bought some cards and chocolates but you still feel unprepared.  After all, what are you going to do with your kids before you leave them with the babysitter? It’s okay, Tea has you covered.  We have five easy Valentine’s Day activities your family can enjoy- no shopping required!

Valentine's Day Craft

1)   Our designer Katy recently shared a Valentine’s Day tradition with us that was too cute not to share. Instead of making the dinner date mom and dad only, bring the kids along.  Dad gets to go on a fun date with the daughters and mom gets to go on a date with the boys. This tradition will allow each child to feel special getting one-on-one time with their parent.

2)  We recently asked our Facebook fans to share their favorite Valentine’s Day activities. One fan explained how her family writes secret messages in white crayon on white heart-shaped cards for each family member.  Then they each take turns using water colors to paint over the crayon to reveal each person’s love-filled message.  How cute is that?

3)   When I was younger, my mom and I would use up all of our craft supplies to make Valentine’s day cards for the residents at the local retirement home. Our kitchen table would be covered in red construction paper, doilies, glitter and glue! After we created a good amount, we would head to the retirement home and hand them out to each resident.  I love this activity because not only did I get to create endless amounts of Valentine’s but my mom was also teaching me kindness and philanthropy.  You can’t beat that!

4)   Maybe you don’t have heart-shaped sugar cookies or red frosting, but who says you can’t bake up some oatmeal raisin cookies? Just because you don’t have the perfect Valentine’s recipe doesn’t mean you can’t engage in a bake-off with your kids.  Make whatever you have ingredients for, whether it’s rice crispy treats, pudding pops, or some jello jigglers.  Don’t limit yourself to only Valentine’s day themed deserts, bake because it’s a fun way to spend time with those you love.

5)   Create a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt! Hide clues around the house eventually leading your children to a prize.  The prize could be anything from a stack of Hershey kisses to a big hug from mom and dad.  After all, it’s the journey, not the destination, that’s the fun part!

The activities above are quick and easy to prep with little time involved.  Share your easy Valentine’s day activities below.

 

December 24, 2011

Christmas Traditions: East Meets West

This post was written by Cindy Young, the manager of technical design at Tea.

Cindy and her family

I came to the United States from China when I was 9 years old. Growing up in San Francisco, a city with diverse cultures and a large Asian population provided me with great comfort while assimilating into the new American culture. My first exposure to Christmas came through school, where we celebrated togetherness, exchanged gifts, decorated the room with lights and ornaments, listened to joyous music, and enjoyed lots of festivities and yummy treats; very similar to Chinese New Year actually. The jolly ole Saint Nick character was different though …

My family continued to celebrate Christmas to share in the experience with our American friends. Six years ago, I married my husband Brent, who is an American from Scottish/English and Greek descent.  His family is not religious and predominantly follows the American traditions for the holiday spirit.  They have a set of consistent traditions with the main focus being on family.  Generally, they aim to do fun and meaningful, but traditional, activities together such as decorating the tree, enjoying a nice formal dinner at home on Christmas Eve, going to Christmas plays or concerts, and laughing while frantically wrapping any last minute presents. On the big day, they take turns opening stockings and gifts before enjoying a hearty and delightful brunch with a delicious spread of food and Stollen (a traditional German loaf-shaped cake containing dried fruit, and covered with powdered sugar). They then call family and friends to wish them Merry Christmas, share stories from the morning, and catch up from when they last spoke.  Fully spent, everyone then takes a nap to re-energize for an evening of enjoying each other’s company while watching movies and eating popcorn at home.

So, it seems like my husband’s family traditions are not very different from my own. They are just different ways of celebrating with families and friends.  We have two toddlers now, and it wasn’t until last Christmas that I began to really dive into the meaning of Christmas. To us, Christmas is now about creating wonderful memories and fun experiences for the kids, in addition to connecting with family and friends.  It’s about doing things with the kids, helping them feel the Christmas Spirit through Santa Claus, and creating excitement and suspense about coming downstairs to find lots of presents under the tree.  To help our kids get involved with preparing for this Christmas, I created an Advent Calendar (pictured on the right) with their help. I did most of the sewing of course, but they put sticky numbers on the pockets and helped give lots of design feedback. A new twist to the classic set of ornaments, we incorporated some ornaments that reflect my Chinese heritage, such as felt crafted fortune cookie, wooden block with the brush stroke character “JOY,” a wind chime, and origami stars.  Since December 1st, my kids have been alternating in taking the ornament out of each pocket to hang on the calendar.  They get so excited to do it every morning and sometimes fight over whose turn it is to do it again.  It was a bigger project than I thought, and finding the miniature ornaments that would fit into the pockets wasn’t easy, but seeing their excitement in participation is rewarding and priceless.  I plan to recreate new editions of the calendar when they are old enough to experience more of the process in making it, and I look forward to learning and creating more traditions with my own family and teaching our kids the beauty of cultural differences and the true value of family traditions. 

December 23, 2011

Holiday Traditions

The shopping is done and presents are wrapped (hopefully!) so now it’s time to embrace the holiday spirit!  At Tea, we all have different ways that we celebrate the holidays.  Below some of our staffed shared their favorite festive traditions.  Some are funny, quirky, or sweet, but all reflect the season’s spirit of family and charitable giving.

“My Nonna would always take us to the toy store to pick out presents for children at an orphanage her church worked with. Even though I did not know these children, I remember being super concerned about whether or not they would like the presents. I put a lot of care and effort into picking out just the right toys. We’d also carefully wrap each present, which was equally as important to me. I hand colored all the wrapping paper and made sure each present looked ‘perfect’.” Katy, Designer

“Every winter my family makes Chinese Winter Balls. These are balls of dough that you eat with a cabbage broth. The production and consumption of these winter balls happens right when it starts to be winter so a Winter Solstice- like tradition. Making these balls is a huge production, you have people mixing dough and kids running around with sticky hands, but all the work is worth it. Nothing says winter like eating Winter Balls. There is also a dessert version of the balls with peanut butter or seasame paste injected inside the balls that you drink with a sweet/sugary broth.” Priscilla, Customer Service

“Every year, we arrange the little snow village up on top of the piano decked with all the tiny porcelain houses, figurines and snow covered trees as possible. My sister and I also like to watch White Christmas and sing along to it.” Isabelle, Tech Designer

“Every year we have a Mexican Feast for Christmas dinner.  We also make our own wrapping paper, either by carving and printing stamps or hand drawing it.” Amber, Textile Designer

“My family prepares a traditional Polish meal every Christmas Eve. The recipes have been handed down from generations and consist of potato and cottage cheese filled pierogi and a mushroom borscht soup which takes 2 days to prepare. Yum! I can’t wait to eat it soon.” Laura, VP of Design

“We just started to have a special brunch on Christmas, just the 3 of us, me my husband, and my son, a couple of years ago.” – Eva, Product Development and Production

“Christmas Eve we sit down with the kids and read about the meaning of Christmas and giving, read “Twas the night before Christmas” and sing carols. Then leave cookies and milk out for Santa and carrots out for the reindeer.” – Cristina, Tech Designer

“My husband’s family is from Uruguay so we make cookies called alfajores as gifts for the holiday season. Alfajores are a sweet sandwich cookie featuring a layer of dulce de leche, in the middle of two sweet biscuits and coated with chocolate or sprinkled with powdered sugar.” – Tracy, Head of Production & Technical Design

We hope you enjoyed learning about the yearly traditions that our staff cherishes.  We wish you a holiday filled with cheer, warmth, and lots of great memories.

Please share with us below, what’s your family’s favorite holiday tradition?

December 20, 2011

Mexico in Green and Red

mexico in green and red mexican christmas poinsietta

from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

While we decided to go with a less traditional color palette for our holiday collection this year, Mexico was still filled with red & green inspiration that we wanted to share with you. Come back tomorrow for the inspiration behind our Highland Holiday color palette.

Did you know the poinsettia is indigenous to Mexico, where they call it “Noche Buena,” meaning Christmas Eve? The association of the poinsettia with Christmas began in Mexico. Can you see the poinsettia influence in some of the Mexican floral motifs?