Category Archives: Happiness

10 reasons to love rainy days

Why Rainy Weekends are Actually The Best

Science has proven over and over again that the weather has the power to affect our mood. Shorter days in the winter can make us feel depressed. Cloudy skies can make us feel tired and the sun makes us feel energized. That’s all well and good, but what’s wrong with a little rain? We actually think rainy days are kind of the best, especially during the weekend. Here’s why.

cute bear cotton pajama set

Daisy Alexander ‘Beary Happy’ PJ Set

10 Reasons to Love Rainy Weekends

1. You don’t “have to” go outside.

The great outdoors are, well, great. But after a long, grinding week there’s nothing better than waking up to the pitter patter of rain against your window pane. A rainy day means you don’t have to “make the most” of the weather by getting outside. There’s no reason you have to dust off your bike, go for a jog, take the dog hiking, or meet your friends for a sunny afternoon brunch. You can be an indoor cat without regret.

2. You can catch up on that new series everyone is talking about.

“What do you mean you don’t watch…?” Instead of smiling and nodding when your coworkers dish about That New Show on That Streaming Service, actually participate in the conversation for once. Use your rainy day to pop some popcorn, curl up on the couch, and binge watch a hot new series.

3. It’s hot chocolate weather.

Just because the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean that you have to punish yourself with boring cups of coffee and tea on a rainy day. Make yourself a big mug of hot cocoa with all the trimmings: marshmallows and candy canes if you still have a few lying around the kitchen — they don’t expire, right? Wrap yourself up in a cozy bathrobe and sip while you listen to the gentle sounds of rain outside. Hot chocolate is the ultimate rainy day treat.

4. You can go to bed early.

Even people with the most active social lives need a break every now and again. You’ll notice that on a rainy Friday night, your cell phone will stay blissfully silent. Almost every social butterfly takes advantage of a rainy night to stay in and recharge. So ditch the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), go to bed early, and wake up refreshed!

5. Pajamas for the win!

The number one, absolute best thing about a rainy weekend is that you can stay in your pajama pants for 48 straight hours. Blustery wet weather makes us want to curl up under a warm blanket in our favorite flannels, so why not indulge? Put on your slippers and keep them on until Monday.

6. You can do that thing you said you’d do.

How are the New Year’s Resolutions going? Did you make a promise to yourself to get back into painting, read a book a month, try yoga? If you’re not into lazing about on a rainy day, use your gray weekend to get back on track. Read that book, find a yoga video on YouTube, or bust out your watercolors. Even if none of these items ended up on your list of resolutions, using this time indoors to exercise your mind will help you feel more energized when you go back to work on Monday.

7. Takeout tastes better when it’s raining.

It’s a fact: food always tastes better when you don’t have to cook it. Second fact: a comforting container of takeout always tastes better when it’s cold and rainy outside. Take a day off from grocery shopping and order the pizza, pad thai, buffalo wings, or tofu and broccoli you’ve been dreaming about. Then plant yourself on the couch and savor every last bite.

8. You can practice self-care.

In this age of unparalleled connectivity, we really do have to practice self-care. Putting our health and wellness first isn’t an instinct for most modern adults. We have to learn to set time aside to take care of our ourselves. Take a bath, paint your nails, or take a nap. A rainy weekend is the perfect time practice a little self-care.

9. You can do chores without doing much.

Do you know it’s going to rain this weekend? Park your car in the driveway, soap it up, and walk away. Or put your indoor plants outside for a natural watering. Check “water the lawn” off your to-do list. These tiny life hacks can help you feel semi-productive while you spend the rest of the day binge-watching shows on Netflix in your PJs.

cute umbrella pattern pajamas

Ready for a PJ party in the Daisy Alexander ‘Rainy Day’ Classic Pajama Set

10. You can host a pajama party.

If you don’t feel like going out but want to be social, invite a few friends over for a “pajama party.” Encourage them to wear their PJs or their favorite sweatpants, order pizza, open a bottle of wine, and watch a movie together. Nothing makes your home feel cozy on a rainy night like friends and jammies.

We hope this fun little list helps you see the silver lining during your next rainy weekend! For more ideas for family fun, visit The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog. Don’t forget to check out our new private label, Daisy Alexander, for the perfect rainy day attire!

Best Rainy Day Pajamas daisy alexander

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stay-home-date-night-ideas

Friday Night In: Pajama Date Night Ideas

Experts and laymen agree that the best way to keep the spark alive in a relationship is regularly scheduled date nights. While no couple would disagree that time alone together to connect and be a couple would, duh, help you maintain and even deepen connection with your partner, reality sometimes makes this a challenge.

Regular date nights sound simple in theory, but the follow-through can get messy. Maybe you have conflicting work schedules. Maybe you have children and spending $100+ on dinner and a babysitter just isn’t on the table. Maybe you and your partner are new parents who aren’t ready to leave your infant in the care of someone else.

Yes, these situations undoubtedly present challenges when planning a date night and holidays like Valentine’s Day add extra pressure. Consider some of these options as stress-free alternatives.

sushi pattern pajamas

Nothing says “date night in” like takeout and pajamas! This fun new pattern from PJ Salvage is fit for the occasion.

10 Great Stay-at-Home Date Night Ideas

1. Vinyl Listening Party. We just love this idea! Whether you already have a record player or pick up a secondhand player on Craigslist, take turns sharing albums and songs that you love with your partner. Since vinyl has made a comeback, there are plenty of shops popping up where you can get used records on the cheap. Another easy alternative is to take turns playing songs and playlists on Spotify. This activity goes pairs well with a bottle of wine.

2. Roast Marshmallows. Did you know you can find an electric s’mores/fondue maker for $30? We were surprised too. This is a fun, safe, and easy way to enjoy a little taste of summer all year round. Throw some blankets on the floor, open a box of graham crackers, and pretend you’re camping for the night. If you want to create an adult version of the classic s’more try different kinds of artisanal chocolate bars, made with hints of chile, sea salt, caramel, or lavender.

3. Make Dessert Together. If roasting marshmallows and acquiring new gizmos and gadgets seems like too much work for you, keep it simple and make dessert. Take the time to select a recipe together — something that you’ll enjoy making and eating. After the kids are fed and tucked away in their jammies, mix a couple cocktails and get cooking. The dessert can be as simple as a boxed brownies as long as you’re enjoying each other’s company.

4. Work on a Puzzle. When was the last time you pulled out a jigsaw puzzle? While it may not sound exciting, a puzzle is a surprisingly fun group activity. It’s a simple activity that you can work on together while you talk, enjoy some snacks, and have a beer. You’ll be amazed at how relaxed you feel after taking a break from glaring light of your phone or TV screen.

5. Follow a Bob Ross Video. This is just plain fun. Remember Bob Ross, the iconic TV art instructor from ‘80s? Even if you don’t, the videos are worth a watch. Bob’s soothing voice guides viewers step-by-step through the creation of a landscape painting. While oil paints are expensive, regular old Crayola watercolors — or even markers! — are just a few bucks. Follow along and giggle at each other’s artistic ability.

6. Play Cards. Another simple activity to go with an assortment of late-night snacks: cards. There are plenty of two-person card games that you can play or learn. Some examples include Double Solitaire (yes, you read that correctly), 66, Rummy, Pinochle, and the elegantly named Egyptian Rat Screw. Spending quality time together doesn’t have to be complicated to be fun!

PJ Salvage Sushi Pajamas Thats How I Roll

New PJ Salvage Pattern: ‘That’s How I Roll’. View the collection.

7. Have a Slumber Party. This activity is ideal for the couple who would rather wear fuzzy slippers than slacks or heels on a date. Pick out your favorite slumber party movies from when you were a kid, pile the couch high with blankets and pillows, pop popcorn and indulge in the a nostalgic candy selection from your childhood. Comfortable pajamas and eating too much sugar are musts for this date.

8. Tasting or Pairing. Wine tasting and food pairing classes tend to be fancy affairs. Not only are they expensive, but you have to arrive ready to learn, wearing stuffy clothing. We are not about stuffy clothing. There are a million free videos online that can guide you through any kind of tasting and pairing you can imagine and you can wear your pajamas! Some options out there are whiskey and chocolate, wine tasting, or beer and cheese. Have the items on hand and follow along together for your own private one-on-one pairing.

9. The Ultimate Bucket List. This is a fun activity to get to know your partner. Order take out, light some candles, and make an official “bucket list” of all the things you want to do together, no matter how outrageous. This a great way to get to know more about your partner’s dreams and desires and build on your connection.

10. Adult Coloring Books. Coloring books for grown ups are officially “a thing.” A quick search on Amazon will yield hundreds of adult coloring books featuring complex patterns and scenes for you to follow. Adult coloring books became popular after some studies showed that coloring can have the same positive effects on your brain as meditation. Sit down with your significant other and color yourself to zen-like inner peace.

We hope these stay-at-home date night ideas help you think outside the box for your date night (and opt for cozy pajamas instead!). Check out The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog for more ideas for family fun.

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Active Indoor Game Ideas for Kids

10 Best Indoor Games to Get Kids Moving

Many of us are looking forward to a 3-day weekend but for parents, a long weekend translates to three days with the kids and it’s easy to feel like a cruise director. January is an exceptionally chilly, blustery time of year and both kids and adults are mostly stuck indoors on the weekend. Whether you’re hosting a sleepover or a family game night, these fun indoor games will help your kids burn some of that excess energy. But don’t worry — no sneakers required. Your coziest flannel pajamas, as always, are perfectly acceptable attire.

Best Indoor Games for Kids

Jump around in these ‘Stay Cool’ pajamas by Big Feet.

Active Indoor Game Ideas for Kids

1. Race to the Finish. Use masking tape or painters to tape to create “lanes” on the floor. Create flashcards with different movements such as hop, skip, or crabwalk. Get creative and let the kids come up with ideas too. For example, one card could read “walk like a chicken” or “swing like a monkey” and have participants come up with their own interpretive movements. Draw a movement card from a hat at random. Players participate in a silly “race to the finish” with the chosen wacky movement.

2. Twister. The classics never fade. Twister is a still an uproariously fun game to play during a sleepover, family game night, or just a fun night in with friends! You’re more likely to topple over from laughing than from loss of balance. Just be prepared for your kids to mock your attempts at agility for the rest of the weekend!

3. Indoor Bowling. Stack plastic cups into a large pyramid. Stack them high and stack them deep. Use a 5-8” toy ball, or even a tennis ball, to roll on the floor at the pyramid. Players get a point for each “pin” they knock down. Just like bowling, the game becomes more challenging as more pins are removed.

4. Limbo! Remember this one? Limbo is a game best played in a group, so it’s a great choice for a sleepover. Grab a broom or mop and see just how low everyone can go! Remember, ‘Limbo’ is one part game and one part dance party, so have the kids help you come up with a killer playlist that everyone will enjoy.

5. Balloon Waddle. A less messy version of the egg-and-spoon race, Balloon Waddle is a silly game that’s perfect for little kids! Blow up some balloons and see if the kids can “waddle” from one end of the room to the other with the balloon between their knees, without dropping it. If it’s too easy or the kids are a bit older, set up a few obstacles for the kids to move around or hop over.

Active Games for Sleepovers

Sleepover-ready in these super comfy dinosaur pajamas by Big Feet.

6. Musical Chair Dance Party. A great group game that can be fun at any age with the right tunes! Simply gather a number of chairs that is -1 of the number of participants and arrange them in a circle, seats facing outward. Play upbeat music. The group must dance (not walk!) around the chairs until the music stops, then it’s a scramble for a seat! Whoever is left without a seat when the music stops is out. Subtract one more chair and keep playing until there’s a winner!

7. Charade-ercise. For the athletically-inclined crowd or a family of sports enthusiasts, create a game of charades that involves a little more movement than most. Create your own categories such as sports, sports-themed movies, and athletes (remember, swimmers, skiers, gymnasts, and dancers count!). Using flashcards, write down your own sporty subjects for participants to energetically act out.

8. *Lego Hunt. Treasure hunts are for more than backyard birthday parties. Perfect for sleepovers or busy little kids, create your own “lego hunt” inside your home. This game is a little more like an Easter Egg Hunt and less involved than a Treasure Hunt where you have to create clues. Simply hide Legos, or Duplo blocks for little kids, around the house. Assign each player or team a color to locate. Hide the same number of pieces for each color. See who can find all their pieces first. Play again and again to see if the kids and beat their best time!

*This game could be played a variety of ways if you don’t have Legos or Duplo blocks. Think about any toys that can be divided into categories, such as animal figurines (mammals vs. reptiles), action figures, cars, and dinosaurs (cars vs. dinosaurs, for example).

9. “Dunk” Competition. This one is surprisingly simple, yet amuses kids …and some adults… of varying ages. You can host an indoor “dunk” competition that doesn’t involve mounting a basketball hoop to your living room wall. Simply set an empty garbage can across the room and see who can make the most shots, either in a row or best out of 10. The perfect activity for a simple, sporty family game night.

10. Hide-and-Go-Seek. Don’t forget this one! Similar to a treasure hunt, a good old fashioned game of hide and seek will have kids running around the house for hours as they take turns being the “seeker.” This game is still a great hands-off way to tire out any child!

We hope these game ideas inspire you to get your family moving this weekend. For more tips and ideas for entertaining kids during these cold winter months, check out The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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How to Make the Best of Winter

Make the Best of Winter

Each season brings positives and negatives, but according to a recent Gallup poll, only 11% of Americans list winter as their favorite time of year. While the winter months bring the holidays, twinkle lights, parties, and presents, winter also brings cold weather and shorter, darker days — a bit of a bummer for the other 89%. It’s easy to see the glass as half empty, but why not embrace the darkness?

By welcoming winter with open arms and maintaining a positive attitude, we can stave off those pesky winter blues. Brush off that Grinch attitude and see the bright side of nature’s darkest season.

Snuggle Up, Buttercup

Instead of thinking of winter as cold, think of it as cozy. The weather outside is what makes our throw blankets feel softer, our couch feel more comfortable, and our bedroom feel more inviting. Winter is the ultimate excuse to hibernate: laze around in your bathrobe, sip chamomile tea, and curl up under a warm blanket.

When you think about it, winter is just as romantic as spring, the season that gets all the romance glory. Candlelight and red wine are more appropriate in the winter. Activities like snuggling up and watching a movie or dining in a warm, cozy restaurant are practically a given during the colder months. Winter brings us closer.

Indulge in a Little Comfort

If you found yourself saying, “It’s too hot to eat…” at any point last summer, now is your time to take advantage. Make it a point to indulge in all the warm ooey gooey, steaming hot comfort food that you can’t fully enjoy during the warmer months. Bowls of ramen piled high with noodles and thinly sliced pork. Molten chocolate cake and bread pudding on the dessert menu. Baked ziti, spicy samosas, mac n’ cheese.

We understand that many people choose to do a healthy “reset” in January… but winter is long. Before that hot humid weather rolls back around, be sure to treat yourself to a delicious meal that warms you right down to your soul.

The Most Creative Time of Year

Winter drives us indoors, making it the best time of year to start that hobby you’ve been putting off: learn French, make homemade pasta, or learn how to knit. In the warmer months we almost feel guilty when we spend time indoors. During the winter, we can stay at home and learn to watercolor in the comfort of our living room without shame.

Remember, being creative doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. If you find winter to be a lonely time of year, you’re not alone. Or at least you don’t have to be. Start a book club, crafting meet-up, or learn to knit with a friend. Surrounding yourself with good people and good conversation makes any dark day brighter.

Apres Ski Classic Flannel Pajama Set by PJ Salvage

Apres Ski Classic Flannel Pajama Set by PJ Salvage

Read Yourself a Bedtime Story

“Summer reads” have their place, but why not make your way through some winter reads too?  Because it gets darker earlier, most people tend to go to bed earlier in the winter months. The cold weather makes us eager to jump into our flannel pajamas and put our feet up. Pick a book and get into the habit of reading a chapter each night before you go to bed. Not only is reading before bed great exercise for the mind, some studies have suggested that reading before bed also helps you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. Once you get into the groove, you’ll be surprised how many books you get through by spring. Far more than you’d ever knock out in a weekend at the beach!

An Excuse to Sleep In

Here’s the absolute best part about winter: it stays dark longer. What’s that? You thought the darkness was a negative? Think of the darkness as nature’s blackout curtain. A later sunrise means that this is the best time of year to comfortably sleep in. It’s as if nature is saying, “Go ahead, take a break. You deserve it.” Sleep in on the weekend and enjoy long, lazy mornings warm in your pajamas just because you can. Soak up the comfort of your warm, cozy bed like you would rays at the beach.

We hope you make the most of the remaining winter months, whether you’re hitting the slopes or hitting the couch with a good book. For more ideas for family fun this season, check out The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Easy DIY Dog Treats

How to Make Holiday “Cookies” for Your Dog

Winter is the time of year to get cozy at home. There is no better way to make a house feel warm and welcoming than with the smell of freshly baked treats. Throughout the holiday season home bakers are whipping up batches of cookies for family, friends, and neighbors — so why not your best furry friend?

Even if you’re not a baker, we promise that your pup won’t be as critical of your skills as your human friends and family! As with any changes to your dogs diet, we advise that you consult your vet first and consider possible allergies before feeding these treats to your buddy.

Lazy One Red Plaid Bear Cheeks FlapJack for Dogs

Matching pajamas for the whole family, including Fido! “Bear Cheek” FlapJack pajamas for dogs by Lazy One.

8 Incredible Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

1. Easy Peanut Butter Dog Treats

You’d be hard pressed to find a basic human cookie recipe that’s this easy to make! With only four ingredients and a few steps, your pup can be enjoying warm peanut butter goodness fresh from the oven! We’re willing to bet you have all or most of the ingredients in your fridge already. Get the super simple recipe from Damn Delicious here.

2. Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Donuts

If you give a dog a donut… These adorable treats are inspired by the children’s book by Laura Numeroff. If you’re worried about the sodium content in the bacon, opt for a natural, low-to-no sodium brand, or just skip it all together. He’ll be plenty happy with the peanut butter. Get the recipe from Sunny Day Family here.

3. Chicken and Biscuits Dog Treats

Deviating from the peanut butter theme for a moment, here is a simple dog treat recipe that would make great use of leftover scraps of meat from a roasted chicken. Be sure to read the author’s note on not including the skin because of fat content or heavily seasoned meat. We really love that the author simplifies the recipe further by skipping the cookie cutter process. Let’s be honest, the dog is going to eat them no matter the shape! Get the four ingredient recipe and instructions from Two Healthy Kitchens here.

4. Spinach, Carrot and Zucchini Dog Treats

If you’re already making a New Year’s resolution to eat more vegetables, let your dog join in on the fun! These DIY dog treats are easy, nutritious, and easy to make. Yes, your dog will devour them — vegetables and all! Get the unique dog treat recipe from Damn Delicious here.

Lazy One Moose Fair Isle FlapJack for Dogs

For pups who feel the winter chill more than most, “Moose Fair Isle” FlapJack pajamas for dogs by Lazy One.

5. Luxe Cheddar Bacon Dog Treats

Leave it to the folks at Good Housekeeping to develop a dog treat recipe that’s so over-the-top delicious that humans admit to snacking on them too. This recipe has the mouth-watering combination of bacon and cheddar along with a healthy punch of fiber and protein from rolled oats and eggs. Check out the recipe and video from Good Housekeeping here.

6. Chicken and Wild Rice Biscuits

Modeled after one of the more popular dog food flavors, this homemade chicken and wild rice dog biscuit recipe is going to be a surefire hit with your pup. Another great alternative to all the peanut butter and bacon-heavy recipes floating around on the internet. Get the recipe and instructions from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen here.

7. Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats

This healthy treats are supposedly great for your pup. Canned pumpkin is recommended for dogs to settle stomach upsets. Apples are also good treats for dogs, loaded with fiber and vitamins A and C (just remember to remove the seeds!). Get the four ingredient recipe and step-by-step instructions from Three Little Ferns here.

8. Grain-Free Breath Freshening Dog Treats

Have you ever bought those pricey breath freshening dog treats before? It seems like the second you invest in a 10 lb. bag, suddenly your pup loses all interest. Not with this homemade version. The treats are not only easy to make, they’re also grain-free for dogs with sensitivities to wheat. Learn how to make these dog treats from Health Starts in the Kitchen here.

We hope your pup enjoys these tasty treats! If you really want to spoil your pup this holiday season, browse our collection of adorable pajamas for dogs. For more ideas for family fun this holiday season, check out The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Best Christmas Gifts for Dog Lovers

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How to Make Your Home Cozy

10 Tips to Make Your Home Cozy for Fall

Crisp, crunchy leaves, vibrant fall colors, and cool refreshing air. This is the time of year that we transition from spending most of our time outdoors to spending most of our time snug in our homes, readying ourselves for a winter hibernation of sorts.

As the days get shorter and daylight during the workweek becomes scarce, we’re often leaving our home when it’s still dark in the morning and returning home to a dark home at night. This can leave our home feeling “cold” and can sometimes make us feel a little depressed. Make your home feel warm, comfortable, and welcoming during the fall and winter months with these simple tips.

 

cute matching family pajamas fall

‘Don’t Moose With Me’ matching family pajamas by Lazy One.

How to Make Your Home Feel Cozy

1. Leave slippers by the door.

Slippers make you feel instantly warm and cozy the second you slip them on in the morning. Why not keep a pair by the door? That way you can kick off your uncomfortable work-approved footwear and slide into instant comfort.

2. Use soft lighting.

The right lighting can make all the difference! If you have a lot of intense, high-wattage bulbs that emit a severe bright light, consider replacing them with lower-wattage warm-toned lights when they burn out. The difference will make your home feel more like a warm, cozy den and less like an office space.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of throw pillows.

Layering warm, soft fabrics in the form of a few strategically placed throw pillows is a great way to ‘cozy up’ your home. The plush pillows invite you to sit down, put your feet up, and relax. Throw pillows are a simple, affordable way to soften any space and make your house feel like a home.

4. Upgrade your towel to a bathrobe.

There’s no rule that says you can’t walk around your house in a damp towel after you get out of the shower… but why not make every moment at home as comfortable as it can be? After leaving the steamy comfort of a hot shower, a plush bathrobe will keep the chilly fall air at bay. The right bathrobe can make any home feel like cozy and spalike.

5. Curl up by the fire (sort of).

Since most of us don’t have a fireplace, make use of candles to create an intimate cozy atmosphere in the room you’re in. If you are searching for a safer alternative, you can also use electric candles. Electric candles and tea lights are a great choice for people with kids and pets — or those of us who are just a bit forgetful!

6. Keep a throw blanket at arm’s reach.

Another tip for “instant cozy” is to keep a throw blanket at arm’s reach. Whether you’re zoning out in front of the TV after a long day of work or reading a book in bed, a soft throw blanket wrapped around your shoulders or draped over your legs will make you feel warm and snug at home.

Ski Themed Women's Pajama Set

‘Apres Ski’ pajama set by PJ Salvage.

7. Wear the right loungewear.

Changing from your clothes into a pair of clean, comfortable pajamas is a small ritual that says “I’m done for today.” Being comfortable at home isn’t just about how your home looks, it’s how you feel when you’re spending time there. If we want to feel comfortable and also put together, we opt for pajama sets. If we want to just let loose, flannel pajama pants and a T-shirt will do the trick. True comfort is about being comfortable in your skin in your space.

8. The smell of freshly baked cookies.

Scented oil and aromatherapy companies have captured the scents of everything in the natural world in addition to some of our favorite, comforting smells from childhood. Far safer than candles, oil diffusers can be used to create that homey feeling with the power of smell. Even if you don’t bake, you can diffuse vanilla scented oil to make your house smell like cookies just came fresh from the oven. Instant warmth.

9. Bring fall colors indoors.

Bring the fall colors you love indoors with seasonal plants like mums, cut flowers, or arrangements with branches of berries or pussy willows. Flowers and plants are a simple way to bring a natural pop of color to any room. As an added bonus, being in or around nature has the same effect on people as meditation and this one of the reasons why houseplants are so hot right now.

10. Stock up on tea and books.

Tea, good coffee, hot chocolate — prep your pantry with ingredients for some great fall drinks that you can enjoy as the season transitions from cool to cold. Keep a pile of your fall reads near your favorite reading spot, like the couch, a cozy chair, or your nightstand. Having these two fall must-haves at the ready will encourage you to get comfortable and hibernate in PJs this season.

We hope you find these tips helpful! For more ideas on how to stay comfy and cozy this season, visit The Pajama Company at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

cute winter pajamas 2018

 

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10 Bedtime Rituals to Help You Decompress

10 Bedtime Rituals to Help You Decompress

Your work schedule, the kids’ school schedule, Halloween, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping… is anyone else beginning to feel the crunch of this busy season? It’s as if the lazy days of summer are actually a rest period so we have the energy to make it through the marathon holiday season of the fall and winter.

As we approach this busy time of year, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of self care. The more hectic our schedules get, the easier it becomes to move your health and happiness to the bottom of the list. Apart from drinking enough water and eating our veggies, our most basic health requirement is sleep. We hope these simple bedtime rituals will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Dog Pattern Flannel Pajamas

PJ Salvage ‘Think Pawsitive’ Classic Flannel Pajama Set in Antique White

Bedtime Rituals to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep

1. Make a to-do list.

Your to-do list can be as simple as few things you want to accomplish the next day, like clearing out your inbox, paying your phone bill, or tackling the first step of a project at work. By writing down each task, you’re actually creating an action plan for the day. This allows you to rest easy knowing that you will wake up with purpose and direction.

2. Stretch before bed.

Try a incorporating a simple yoga practice into your nighttime routine. The stretching will soothe aching joints and muscles and the breathing techniques will help you exhale all the stress you’ve accumulated throughout your day. This 7-minute bedtime yoga sequence is so simple you can do it your pajamas, no spandex required.

3. Try micro journaling.

Journaling is a healthy, reflective practice that allows you to acknowledge your successes and note areas for improvement. Micro journaling is simply writing down three things that went well that day and three things that didn’t. This practice gives your day closure, sealing it in the past. This keeps you focused on the positive and prevents you from dwelling on the negative, silencing that end-of-day chatter that keeps you up at night!

4. Take an evening stroll.

If you can slip away for twenty minutes, take a walk around your neighborhood. Studies have shown that walking, especially in green spaces like a park, can have the same stress-relieving effects as meditation. This would be a great time to think about what you’re grateful for today and what you want to accomplish tomorrow. The key to a restorative walk is to do it unplugged — no ear buds! After a hot shower, you’ll go to bed feeling rested and refreshed.

5. A cleansing soak.

Whether it’s a long leisurely bubble bath or quick a 5-minute foot soak, wash away your stress in the tub. Immersion in water is known to be very therapeutic, especially when you combine it with the relaxing effects of aromatherapy. In the evening, add lavender oil to the water to promote a deep sleep. After you towel off, wrap yourself up in a warm fluffy bathrobe to create a spa experience.

Women's Polar Bear Bathrobe

Munki Munki Women’s Fluffy ‘Polar Bear’ Fleece Robe

6. Unplug and open a book.

An hour before bed, unglue yourself from screens: television, phone, and computer. Put on your softest, comfiest pajamas and curl up in bed with a good book. The light from these screens has been shown to disrupt our sleep patterns. Not only will reading at the end of the day help you get to sleep faster, avoiding the glow of your electronics will help you stay asleep longer. Check out our fall classics reading list for ideas.

7. An evening cup of tea.

Simply the act of making a cup of tea can be a meditative practice. Waiting for the water to boil. Prepping the tea bags if you’re making loose tea. The scent of the water hitting the dried herbs. Get in the habit of making a cup of herbal tea before bed. Chamomile, jasmine, and mint are soothing herbal teas that won’t keep you up at night.

8. Adult coloring books.

Adult coloring books have been all the rage in the last few years, used mostly as a stress-relieving technique. Coloring is an easy way to be crafty and creative, no matter how much time you have at the end of the day. Coloring stimulates areas of the brain that most of us non-creatives don’t use every day, making it a soothing and helpful brain exercise that promotes creative problem solving. The perfect pre-bedtime activity.

9. Meditate for 5 minutes.

Meditating for as little as five minutes each day can reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep. There are many guided meditations available online, so you can learn breathing techniques and practice helpful, relaxing visualizations. Meditating is a great way to clear your mind before bed, especially if you find that overthinking keeps you up at night!

10. Invest in comfortable pajamas.

We know, we know… to someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail! Believe it or not, investing in comfortable sleepwear will help you get to sleep faster. When you were a kid, pajamas weren’t just something to wear after your bath — they also acted as a signal to tell you that it was bedtime, mentally preparing you to wind down. The same logic can be applied as an adult. A ritual as simple as putting on pajamas says, “My day is finished. It’s time for me to rest.”

We hope these ideas for bedtime rituals help you get a great night’s sleep. For more sleep tips and ideas for family fun this fall season, visit The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Best Fall Hot Drink Recipes

12 Warm and Cozy Drinks for Fall

Let’s be honest: yes, we all love a good pumpkin-spiced coffee drink — ‘tis the season, right? But sometimes we don’t feel like waiting in line for thirty minutes or dropping up to $42 each week on a new bad habit. We’re more the “sip-at-home-in-your-pajama-pants” type and that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Instead of schlepping your cold, tired body to your nearest coffee chain this fall, try these simple, warm and cozy fall drink recipes at home. Don your favorite bathrobe and curl up with a book from our latest reading list — what’s more ‘fall’ than that?

"Coffee" Hooded Fleece Adult Union Suit by Boxercraft

“Coffee” Hooded Fleece Adult Union Suit by Boxercraft

12 Hot Drink Recipes for Fall

1. The Golden Latte

Move over, Pumpkin Spice. This is a dairy-free, lightly spiced drink that warms and satisfies. It has a beautiful golden yellow glow from the turmeric, which is blended with fresh ginger, honey, and coconut oil for a decadent, calming, brew. Get the recipe from Martha Stewart here.

2. Easy Chai Tea

This coffee shop favorite is actually easier to make than you think. Just bring crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, ginger and milk to a boil, add tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes. Get the full recipe from Real Simple here.

3. Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

This homemade hot chocolate mix is made with a blend of chocolate and cocoa powder for a rich, decadent, creamy texture. Throw it in a jar, wrap a bow around it, and it’ll make a great gift too! Get the instructions from Epicurious here.

4. Caramel-Hazelnut Cafe Mocha

The only thing you need to know about this recipe: melted Nutella. Yes, please. This recipe is made in the slow cooker and after cooking it can be kept on the warm setting for one hour, so it’s great to serve at an upcoming holiday party. Get the recipe from Midwest Living here.

5. Matcha Green Tea

How’s this for a pick-me-up? Matcha, a traditional Japanese tea, is one of the most nutritious beverages you can consume. This is a warm, healthy pick-me-up to replace your morning cup o’ joe. Get the recipe from My Recipes here.

6. Easy Blender Eggnog

Make this holiday favorite with all the flavor in half the time (without sacrificing quality!). Use your blender to whip up a batch of this fall / winter favorite instantly. Get the time saving recipe from Real Simple here.

Women's "Fancy Coffee" Classic Pajama Set by Munki Munki

Women’s “Fancy Coffee” Classic Pajama Set by Munki Munki

7. Cinnamon White Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon lends a warming and welcome complexity to this comforing, creamy, cold-weather drink. A bit of a grown-up twist on your childhood favorite. Of course, it’s great for white chocolate lovers. Get the recipe from Epicurious here.

8. Hot Honey Lemonade with Ginger

Sweet and a touch of spicy, kids actually love this hot lemonade! What makes the drink so popular? Honey-drop candies are melted in each glass… You could alter the recipe with less sugar and serve it as a soothing beverage for your little ones when they come down with their first cold of the season. Get the unique and fun recipe from Martha Stewart here.

9. Heartwarming Cider

Spiced with the right ingredients — ginger, allspice, nutmeg — this classic drink is transformed into a festive treat that’s sweet but not too sweet. Optional: serve with rum. Get the recipe from My Recipes here.

10. Chai Eggnog

A spicy twist on a classic. Mix this homemade eggnog recipe with a touch of chai tea (and a dash of bourbon if you’d like!). You’ll feel extra toasty inside and out. Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven here.

11. Mexican Hot Chocolate

This. Is. The. Best. If you’re a fan of a little spicy kick now and again, you’ll never drink chocolate the old way again. Simmered with a cinnamon stick, vanilla extract, and a touch of chili powder, this hot chocolate is fragrant and delicious with a dollop of whipped cream. Get the mouthwatering recipe from My Recipes here.

12. Pumpkin Spice Latte (we had to)

Make this favorite at home! Enjoy this fall favorite anytime. The recipe calls for strong coffee, warming spices, and plenty of whipped cream. Get the recipe from Martha Stewart here.

For more drinks, recipes, and ideas for family fun this fall season, visit our blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

coffee pajamas

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10 Classics for Your Fall Reading List

10 Classics for Your Fall Reading List

It’s ‘back-to-school’ season and even if you’re a grown up or sans kiddos, you can still feed your brain by mixing some classics into your fall reading list. Fall is the perfect time to curl up in your pajamas with a good book, so make those moments count with these classic literary reads.

10 Books for Your Fall Reading List

Curl up with a good book in this PJ Salvage Fruit Playful Print Cotton Pajama Set in Navy

Grown-Up Bedtime Stories: Classics to Add to Your Reading List

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

If you want a literary classic that is guaranteed to get your blood pumping, look no further than The Count of Monte Cristo. You could technically call this novel the first ‘action movie’ before movies. How’s this for a plot: an innocent man wrongly, but deliberately imprisoned spends his time locked away crafting a brilliant strategy for revenge against all who betrayed him. Should prove to be moderately entertaining!

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

In the mood for a wistful fall read? Laugh and cry with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, the literary classic that follows the four March girls in this tale of poverty, womanhood, and growing up. In short: being a woman is complicated and becoming a woman is even more so.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A dash of romance in an over-the-top luxe 1920s setting. The Great Gatsby follows the story of eccentric millionaire Jay Gatsby as told by Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner who lives on Long Island but works in Manhattan. Gatsby’s enormous mansion is adjacent to Carraway’s modest home, and Carraway becomes curious about his neighbor after being invited to one of his famous parties. Romance, intrigue, and violence ensue as Gatsby’s intentions are revealed.

4. 1984 by George Orwell

This novel has seen a revival in popularity in recent years. Orwell’s story, published in 1949, unfolds in “futuristic” 1984 Oceania, the totalitarian superpower in post World War II Europe. In this world, most of the world’s population have become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and propaganda. This book was the catalyst for Big Brother paranoia. A thrilling, engaging, must-read that is as relevant today as it was 1949.

5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

A dense and truly epic read, Great Expectations is arguably Charles Dickens’ masterpiece. The tale depicts the personal growth and development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. Be warned, Great Expectations is full of extreme imagery — poverty, prison ships and chains, and fights to the death — and has a colorful cast of characters that have endure in our mainstream popular culture. One for the literary bucket list.

10 Literary Classics to Add to Your Reading List

Get comfortable on the couch with this Evergreen Voile Cotton Pajama Set from The Cat’s Pajamas

6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I mean, it’s fall so you have to watch the movie (any of them, really…) but why not actually read the book this season? A ‘modern’ Romeo and Juliet, this Jane Austen classic is a love story for the ages and perfect read for fall.

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Already have your Halloween decorations ready to go? For the horror enthusiasts, dive into the classic of classics, Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley in 1818. You know the general plot based on the book’s lasting portrayal in popular culture, but nothing quite compares experiencing the original tale.

8. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

It doesn’t get more nostalgic than New England in the fall and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye perfectly captures the old school prep-school vibe. Set around the 1950s, the story is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. Holden untangles his past in a foggy, dreamlike narrative, with a startling surprise at the end.

9. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

In case you’re not familiar with the epic takes that inspired the blockbuster movie of the same name and the Lord of The Kings films, J.R.R. Tolkien expertly crafts an entire universe filled with new races, places, and languages. Follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he leaves his quiet life to help a group of dwarves take back the Mountain from a dragon. Adventure awaits.

10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Ok, so this may not fit your traditional idea of “classic literature,” but this ‘80s comedy science fiction trilogy was an adaptation of Adams’ radio series by the same name. The novel is a fictional guide book for hitchhikers galavanting around the universe with an alien, written in the form of an encyclopedia. A laugh-out-loud funny read that will awaken your childlike curiosity.

For more reading lists, movie recommendations, and fall recipes, visit our blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Fall Pajama Sets

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11 Best Summer Sleepover Ideas

11 Summer Sleepover Themes

School is out and the kids are home! By now you have probably compiled a list of summer boredom busters or are desperately searching for easy ideas to entertain your kiddos. Whether they are at home or bouncing in between daycare or summer camp, you’re going to have to burn that energy every weekend!

The best way to get kids to wear themselves out is with each other. Why not team up with other parents and take turns hosting sleepovers throughout the summer? The kids will have a blast and the parents will get a break. Here are a handful of simple summer sleepover ideas for guaranteed pajama fun!

Big Feet Kids Pajamas for Sleepovers

Kids Dinosaur Union Suit from Big Feet Pajamas

Best Summer Sleepover Themes

1. Under The Sea

Do you have a “Little Mermaid” at home? If so, you can’t go wrong with a classic princess theme with an under sea twist. Strategically hung blue, green, and gold streamers will create a magical kelp forest. Play Caribbean music and games, like limbo. Give the kids crowns and tritons so they can pretend to have underwater adventures! Of course, when it’s time for a movie, only one will do.

2. The All-American

What’s more American than hot dogs and apple pie? Baseball. Set up T-ball for little ones in the backyard and serve up dogs, fries, and apple pie (store bought is great — we won’t tell!). After the kids put on their pajamas, pop in The Sandlot for evening entertainment. Good all-American fun.

3. Christmas in July

Kids love this surprising, topsy turvy theme! Great for a heat wave, pull out some Christmas decorations and embrace winter in July. Lower the A/C and pull out lots of snuggly blankets, twinkle lights, and hot chocolate. Have the kids watch Elf or Frosty the Snowman in their flapjacks — a guaranteed giggle fest!

4. Roughing It

Kids love to play pretend. Set up a tent in the backyard so they can “go camping.” Roast marshmallows over the grill to make s’mores. Play flashlight tag and tell scary stories. When movie time rolls around, have them bring their sleeping bags inside and watch Open Season.

5. Berry Bake-Off

Berries are finally in season! Take the kids strawberry or blueberry picking or just pick up a few cartons in the store. Look up an easy no-bake recipe for little ones to try, like whipped cream berry parfaits, or make hand pies with older kids. The goodies will be a fun treat to enjoy during an evening showing of Ratatouille.

Munki Munki Goldfish Pajamas for Sleepovers

Goldfish Long John Set by Munki Munki

6. Waterpark

Create a water park in your backyard using sprinklers and a slip n’ slide. The kids will wear themselves out quickly running around in the sunshine. They’ll be more than ready to curl up in their pajamas and watch Finding Nemo at the end of the day!

7. Garden Party

If there’s one thing kids love, it’s getting their hands dirty! Inexpensive pots, soil, plants, and seeds will provide lots of gardening fun! Pick up popsicle sticks and have the kids make and decorate tags identifying the name of their plant. Consider fall plants that the kids can start sprouting now and plant later at home. After they’ve washed their hands and put on their PJs, pop in Zootopia (the main character’s parents are farmers!) or James and the Giant Peach.

8. Moana Dance Party

Two themes in one! It’s hard not to boogie to the incredible Moana soundtrack. Create a Pandora station based on the music and the station will automatically play similar kid-friendly tunes. Throw in grass skirts, leis, glow bracelets (for bioluminescence in the “Realm of Monsters”) and you’ve got yourself a super fun dance party! Be sure to show the movie at the end of the day after the kids settle down.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean

Kids love a scavenger hunt! Set up a pirate themed treasure hunt in your backyard. Consider small toys and chocolate gold coins as the big prize! “Capture the Flag” is another great option. The kids will have a blast swashbuckling in pirate hats with foam swords. When it’s time for bed, show Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean or for little ones, the animated classic, Peter Pan.

10. Pool Day

For the tween set who is “too cool” for themes, consider a “pool day.” There are many inflatable pool options that are great for lounging in. Set up magazines, sunblock, music, water guns, or nail polish for a relaxing day of fun in the sun. Depending on age, movie options could include Hotel Transylvania, Dunstin Checks In, or Blue Crush.

11. Frozen Karaoke Party

For the kids who can’t get enough music, how about a karaoke party with a Frozen theme? Kids karaoke machines are relatively inexpensive or you could just play fun Disney soundtracks on Pandora or Spotify. Once the kids are in their jammies and tucked in for the night, play Frozen for one more round of sing-along fun.

For more ideas for summer family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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