Tag Archives: parenting

March 24, 2014

Win a Six-Month Subscription to Citrus Lane

Citrus Lane
Whether you’re a new mother or a mother of five, you’re probably too busy too search out the latest and greatest products for your little ones. Imagine receiving a care package each month filled with just that… Let us introduce you to Citrus Lane. The items are carefully chosen, “No marketing gimmicks, no paid placements — just real recommendations from real parents for products that solve real problems”, and knowing this, we were so honored to be included in their February box. We’ve teamed up with Citrus Lane to give one lucky winner a 6 month subscription. Know someone who is expecting? We think this would be a perfect gift – paired with a few of our layette pieces, of course!

Update: Congratulations Heather Shurter!

November 2, 2012

Inspiring Mom Awards: Mompreneur

 

Inspiring Mom Awards- vote today

Polls for the Inspiring Mom Awards are open!  Take a look at our candidates and cast your ballot for the mother you think best embodies the globetrotting, mompreneur, and making a difference qualities.  Today, you can meet two of our mompreneur model citizens- Ali Wing and Liz Gumbinner.

Ali Wing of GiggleAli Wing is the guru behind Giggle- the one stop shop for mothers and fathers to be.  Need tips on potty training?   Want educational toys?  Ali and her team have got you covered.  In her spare time (if she has any), she wrote the Giggle Guide to Baby Gear and a column in The Bump.  Check out Ali’s empire here: http://www.giggle.com/

Read Ali’s answers below:

1. How do you maintain a healthy work and home life balance?
I’m not sure I do!  But the key for me is what I call the “bookends.”  My morning routine is work out, shower & then have breakfast with and walk my son to school. I also end each day w/  family dinner at 7 pm and then reading time with my son.  Starting and stopping each day as “mom” gives me – and my son – our balance.

2. What’s your favorite aspect about being a mom?
I like who I am as a mom compared to who I was before. I have more patience & acceptance, and credit my son for those improved qualities.

3. Do you have a piece of advice for moms everywhere?
Have fun with it!  It goes SOOOO fast.  “giggle” was named with that motto in mind; kids make you smile. Don’t miss out on it by focusing on laundry or clean-up!

4. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Other than my son & husband?  They top my list.  But right behind them are my Cole Haan Aviators. I don’t sleep enough, and am thankful for my weekend uniform at soccer games with coffee – and sunglasses (ha).

5. Who inspires you?
My father does – and even gone, still does, every day. He was a kind, gentle, hardworking, dedicated man –and he made the most of every day.  I wake up each morning with the goal of trying to be as good a person as he was.

 

Liz Gumbinner of Mom 101.

Liz Gumbinner, a mother of two girls, started her empire by blogging.  She is the Editor-in-Chief, co- founder of Mom- 101, and co founder of Cool Mom Picks.  She’s a parenting expert but she doesn’t take herself too seriously.   Many have called Cool Mom Picks the “arbiter of cool for the swingset crowd” (Parents Magazine).  Discover some of Liz’s musings here: http://www.mom-101.com/ or here http://coolmompicks.com/

1. How do you maintain a healthy work and home life balance?
I think the idea of working parent “balance” is a bit of a myth. I don’t know if working mothers ever feel entirely balanced; we just do the best we can, switching priorities from day to day as we need to.
Barring emergencies, I make myself unplug after work until the kids go to bed.  It’s a special time together even if it means staying up late to catch up on other responsibilities. But most importantly, I have the help of amazingly supportive family members, caregivers, friends and colleagues. I am so fortunate to have a strong village to lean on.

2. What’s your favorite aspect about being a mom?

The idea of living for something greater than yourself.

3. Do you have a piece of advice for moms everywhere?
The best advice I ever got is from my own mother: Accept that every decision you make as a parent is right, and that every decision you make as a parent is wrong.

4. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Good cheese.   Seriously, it’s a problem.

5. Who inspires you?
I don’t believe you have to do something grand or heroic or world-changing to be inspiring. Having recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia I greatly admired the mothers dedicated to raising healthy, educated children regardless of the obstacle they face. Like walking 8 miles, barefoot, to get their babies immunized. Or working all day in the fields with their babies on their backs so they can afford to send them to school later. It puts a lot in perspective.
I’m inspired by any mother who leads by positive example for her children, and is helping ensure the next generation is inspiring too. After all, we’re counting on them!

 

 

 

October 31, 2012

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 5, 2012

How to finger crochet

Blair Stocker is a mother to Ian and Emma, wife to Peter, and maker of things, living in Seattle, Washington. She believes that the best of days involve making something and enjoying the process whether it be sewing, spray painting, cooking, or creating things with her kids. She blogs about her creative pursuits at wise craft.

How to finger crochet

diy finger crochet tutorial

I’m so excited to share a project today on Studio Tea! This is an easy project for kids of all ages (and adults too).  When my kids were smaller and we were out and about, I would use this to keep their little hands occupied if we were waiting in line and had time to spare.  All you need to finger crochet is a ball of yarn. In fact, the hardest part is choosing a yarn color.  My daughter and I did this the other night and found the whole process very meditative and enjoyable. Give it a try!

Print out your own Finger Crochet tutorial.

My daughter and I used lengths of finger crochet to create a necklace (try adding large beads or bells). We also held 2 yarns at the same time to crochet new shoelaces. See what you can come up with.

 

 

August 8, 2012

Mirror, Mirror- on the wall

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].

My kids are participating in a bit of an informal summer reading program and one of the books we recently read was Mirror by Jeannie Baker.  The book discusses the similarities between two families on opposite ends of the earth.  Our family often gravitates towards books with global themes, but this was one of the first to make me question just how much cultural diversity my children are collecting from their experiences.

With our recent zip code history, you might think that we have ‘cultural diversity training’ checked off of the list, but I think we still have a ways to go.  Raising global citizens – inside of the four walls of our home – means that we strive to accomplish these six things :

First to train our children to accept diversity.  In their small world, this may mean being understanding of the child who stutters when they speak or the grocery store clerk that has a different skin color.

Not that it takes second priority, but a spirit of service is also crucial, whether that means following a spend/save/share motto with allowance money, or helping to ladle out broth at the local soup kitchen.

I also feel that a strong voice is so important.  Children often have some pretty great ideas about the world that they live in. Ideas of how to make things better and how to make people feel welcomed.  Developing a powerful (albeit respectful at the same time) sense of self and comfort level in speaking their mind and sharing their ideas, is an important piece of this puzzle.

General understanding of the geography of our world is simple if you use the resources at your fingertips (internet searches) and your library to open up the globe to your children.  The first step – if you don’t already own one – is to purchase a tabletop globe or a wall world atlas.  Another way to expand knowledge is to attend functions that celebrate geography, like a recent “All About Me” where children (and parents) dressed in their ‘national dress.’  Fun stuff.

statue of liberty costume

American national dress

Appreciation of the music and food that makes the world go ‘round.  We have had a couple of theme dinners in our dining room (complete with fitting food and music) and we are excited to do some more. Make the menu planning a family affair and break away from the expected Mexican, Chinese and Italian.

Caprese Salad

Making our own caprese salad

Bring it home by taking the next step. Invite someone from a different culture, nationality or country to your house for a play date, or out for a ice cream cone.  Explore your differences and marvel at your similarities.

The old adage says to give your children roots and wings, but equally as important is to give them the ability to accept and understand those who come from a different nest.

August 3, 2012

How-to-beat the heat when it’s hot, hot, hot

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].

girl with bucket

Going off my experience of living in a climate where it’s often “TOO HOT!” outside to play, I will share my favorite things to do with children that encourage creativity, kindness and exploration.

The temperatures are rising all across the United States, and in the warm climate areas of the world, and kids are saying those dreaded three words, “Mama, I’m bored.”

We have some sure-fire crafts, activities and things to do that will help to beat the heat.

First, our favorite.  Using ice cube trays, fill them with water that is tinted with either liquid watercolor or food coloring (if your children are older).  Freeze until solid, then after removing them from the tray, place them strategically on a piece of white fabric that is laying directly in the sun.  Move them around every so often to distribute the melting colors, and end up with a beautiful piece of art, with all of the hard work being done by the sun.

Even if you do not own an ice cream maker, using a resealable bag can be just as much fun (and it doesn’t take nearly as long).  Place 1/2 cup of both milk and heavy whipping cream, along with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla into a quart size resealable bag.  Put two cups of ice into a gallon size resealable bag.  At 1/2 – 3/4 cup of salt to the ice.  Place the sealed liquid bag into gallon bag and seal tightly.  Massage, rock and shimmy-shake the large bag for 10-15 minutes.  Keep shaking and massaging the bags until the mixture feels like ice cream.

Get a bucket, some liquid detergent from the kitchen, some sponges and wash the car.  Of course, parents may want to have the last rinse, to ensure that no suds are baked onto your vehicle.

Combine an indoor picnic with a mid-afternoon dance party.  Nothing beats the heat like some indoor munching and boogeying.

Last but not least, create an indoor snowball game.  Roll up white socks into themselves, making balls.  Using the couch in your living room or a dining room chair, create protective “base” walls and go to town throwing snowballs at your family members (being sure to remove any breakables  before Operation Snowball begins.