Life’s a Beach!

by Becky Boyd, The Pajama Company Editor

The beach means various things to different people – whether you’re a surfer, a boater, or a beach bunny.  To me, its all about sun, relaxation, and the soothing power of the ocean. A nap on the beach is the ultimate relaxation. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved floating in the salt water, body surfing the waves, finding unusual shells and rocks, or just sitting and reading a book.  A little slice of heaven!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and in celebration of the start of beach season, we’re featuring some of our cute, cozy, beachy pjs!

We’re offering free UPS Ground Shipping (US only) now through Monday, May 26th!  To take advantage, use Use code SUNSHINE at checkout.

Our eco-friendly bSoft collection’s “Underwater Starfish” pajama set…

Lazy One’s “Lobster” pajama pant is great for guys and girls alike!

My personal favorite, our adorable “Calypso” poplin pjs…

bSoft’s always cozy “Coastal Encounter” robe…

And we can’t leave out our super-fun all-cotton Emerson Street nightshirt which also doubles as a beach cover up!

Happy Memorial Day weekend and Happy Shopping!

Beach Photo Credit: theCarol via Compfight cc

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Get Creative in Your PJs!

by Becky Boyd, The Pajama Company Editor

Despite what many people think, it’s not just artists who possess the ability to be creative – the truth is that we are all naturally creative. Creativity expresses itself in many ways in our world – whether it’s the teacher designing an enriching learning experience for her students, an entrepreneur building a new business, or a writer penning his latest novel.

Creativity is a way to approach things.  And when it gets down to it, it’s all about each person expressing their own thoughts and originality.  Getting creative engages the right side of your brain rather than the analytical left side, which can be a real switch for a lot of people who are so used to valuing their thinking mind above all else.

So how can you consciously engage and capture your own creativity?

1. Allow Yourself the Freedom to be Comfortable

Doing things the same old way can stunt your creativity.  Sometimes what you really need is to break out of the norm.  We’ve talked about talked about doing your best work in your pajamas before.  Allowing yourself to relax is a great way to let ideas flow, and what better attire than in your comfy, cozy pajamas, right?  Whether you’re working on a legal brief, writing your dissertation, painting your first masterpiece, or cooking a gourmet meal,  lounging in your pajamas can help you to get into a totally different creative zone and may even insight you to look at your project in a whole new way.  All hail pajama time!

2. Keep a Notebook on Your Nightstand

Sometimes the best ideas come while you’re relaxed and asleep – whether its during a dream or in the time between sleep and wake. This is because we have access to our subconscious minds during sleep.  Famous creators Billy Joel, Stephen King, and Salvador Dali all reported that their dreams influenced their creative work in various ways.  The best way to capture this creativity is to write down your ideas as soon as you wake up.  So make a habit of keeping a notebook near your bed!

3. Journaling

We’ve mentioned the benefits of writing in a journal in a previous post, particularly in helping you to capture your goals and dreams. But, this activity can really help boost your creativity as well because it allows you to get new ideas out without your inner critic getting in the way.  Writing is a forum for free flow of thought, that might not otherwise take place without pen and paper!

Photo Credit: what_marty_sees via Compfight cc

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The Art of Napping

 

the art of napping, cat, the pajama companyAt The Pajama Company, we think there are two kinds of people in the world: those who nap and those who don’t.  It could be the fact that we’re obsessed with all things sleep and relaxation, but we think naps rate high up there on the list of the good things in life!

After all, what can be better than taking  a break for some relaxation and rejuvenation time?  And, contrary to what you may have heard, naps do not make you lazy.  In fact taking a nap can actually help you to be more productive and creative and can boost your health.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your naps…

Keep it Short

A short nap can do wonders to help you feel better and perk you up, especially if you’ve been concentrating hard or doing something physical and feel tired.  It’s best to keep your naps to about 20 to 30 minutes so that you can wake up and feel alert afterwards.  If you sleep much longer than that you run the risk of waking up groggy or possibly not being able to wake up at all.  Of course if it’s a rainy weekend, we say stay in your pajamas and nap all day if you like!

Keep it to the Afternoon

Mid afternoon is the optimal time to nap.  This is the time during your day that you usually need it the most.  Your blood sugar typically takes a dip around this time, soon after you had lunch, which can make you feel tired. Napping earlier in the afternoon rather than later will also help to avoid disturbing your normal sleep schedule.

Find a Cozy Nap Spot

Unless I’m sick, I prefer not to nap in my bed.  I choose the couch instead, which I think helps me to keep to shorter nap time.  But find what works for you.  Some people like to nap on top of their bed – without getting under the covers – which is also a good idea.  Either way allows you to be cozy without getting into bed completely.  Be sure to have a light blanket on hand.  You also may want to set an alarm if you don’t tend to wake easily.

If you’re in the office and can’t lay down, close your door and rest your head on your desk.  You may want to grab a sweater or something soft to put under your head and maybe drape your jacket around your shoulders.  This may seem out of the ordinary, but I challenge you to try it and see how you feel.  I’m willing to bet you’ll emerge refreshed and ready to go!

Photo Credit: Takashi(aes256) via Compfight cc

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Easy Mother’s Day Pajama Brunch

by Becky Boyd, The Pajama Company Editor

Last week we talked about treating Mom to a Pajama Day.  But you can make her Pajama Day even more special by making brunch part of it. We know your Mom has made you breakfast a million times over, so she’ll love being served breakfast for a change! So tell her to relax in her pjs and prepare to be spoiled.

Here are 3 easy steps to making a delicious brunch for your Mom:

1. Pick a Main Dish

Waffles and pancakes and eggs, oh my! Deciding what to make can be overwhelming – there are so may tasty possibilities.  We’ve rounded up some of the best recipes here below to make it easy on you!

Pancakes – These are my absolute favorite pancakes. The buttermilk makes them light and fluffy. Or try out these Strawberry Vanilla ones here.

Waffles – Check out this list of 25 waffle recipes and take your pick.

French Toast – Mmmmmm…Banana-Chocolate French Toast for the sweet tooth or a savory Baked Stuffed French Toast.  Need we say more?

Eggs Benedict – Impress Mom with this classic egg dish.  Its made of poached eggs, bacon or ham, and Hollandaise sauce.  Yummy! Here are step-by-step directions.

Egg Casseroles – Not a big cook or pressed for time? An egg casserole is the way to go.  Try Pioneer Woman’s Sleepin’ in Omelette. It’s one of the best and the great thing is that you can make it ahead.  I warn you, this recipe is delicious and totally worth it in my opinion, but not without guilt!  If you’re counting calories, here’s a lighter casserole recipe here.

Bacon – Brunch would not be the same without bacon, so even though its not a main dish, I think it deserves its own mention.  Follow Ina Garten’s Roast Bacon recipe for making it in the oven and you can’t go wrong.

2. Select your Beverages

Food is the first part, but what to serve Mom to drink is equally as important!

If you want to serve cocktails, Mimosas or Bloody Mary’s are always good options.

Fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice adds a nice touch.  And of course, don’t forget the coffee – a brunch staple.  Check out our tips on how to brew the perfect cup.

3. Decorate Your Table!

Make your table look special with a fresh bunch of tulips or some potted flowers.  Here are directions to create a Mother’s Day Balloon Bouquet as well.  You might even use a few photos of you and Mom and arrange them creatively around the table.  She’ll love it!

Take out the fancy wine or champagne glasses.  Even just to serve juice, they add some elegance than Mom will appreciate.

And, don’t forget pretty napkins!

Cheers!

Photo Credit: jh_tan84 via Compfight cc

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Give Mom a Pajama Day!

by Becky Boyd, The Pajama Company Editor

“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.” – Jessica Lange

So true!  Our mothers do soooo much for us.  That’s why Mother’s Day is our chance to turn the tables back to Mom.  For at least one day make her the center of the universe again!

How about treating the Mom in your life to a Pajama Day this year?  This is a day where Mom can lounge all day in her favorite pjs and not worry about a thing.  She can stay home and relax, and the fun comes to her.  No cooking, no cleaning, no running around.

There are so many nice things you can do for her to create a wonderful and relaxing day.  But we encourage you to think about what she really loves and needs so you can create a really special day for her.  Get creative!

Here are some ideas:

Movie-Loving Moms

Is she a movie buff?  Gather her favorite snacks and have a movie marathon day with her.  You might even treat her to a luxurious throw blanket, a copy of her favorite movie, and some gourmet organic popcorn!

The Book Worm

Would she prefer to have quiet time to read and perhaps a meal with the family later?  Drop off a gift basket for her in the morning with a cozy new pair of pajamas, some herbal tea, and the latest release from her favorite author.  Come back later and cook her a delicious meal!

Stressed-Out Mom

Is she a super stressed Mom who could really use some intense relaxation?  Buy her an in-home massage.  There are lots of massage businesses that will come right to your home, so check out the options in your local area.  Top it off with one of these awesome robes and a new pair of slippers for a day of luxury!

The New Mom

Is she a new Mom and really could just use a day of restful sleep without having to care for the baby?  Take the family out and give her some much needed quiet time.  Before you go, outfit her with everything she needs to get some good zzzzzzz’s: a great nightshirt, some cute and cozy socks, and an eye mask.  Come back later and surprise her with a bright bouquet of flowers!

Now its your turn!  Tell us in the comments below what you do for your Mom on Mother’s Day!

Photo Credit: Sky Noir via Compfight cc

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Honor Mom with a Fun Gift!

by Becky Boyd, The Pajama Company Editor

Mother’s Day is all about celebrating and honoring that special person who brought us into the world. Our Moms have nurtured us, given us unconditional love, taught us how to do so many things, and made many sacrifices for us too.  Really, how can we name all that she’s done for us?  We think its important to show Mom our gratitude and just how special she is.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find the right gift for Mom.  But at The Pajama Company, we make it easy for you.  Depending on your Mom’s interests, we’ve selected out some fun gift ideas below.  Use discount code “Mom” for free UPS Ground Shipping!  And, check out our options on gift packaging here.

Dog Lover

“Pink Labs” Pajama Pants

“Dog Person” Nighshirt

Feline Friendly 

“Feline Warm & Cozy” Nightshirt

“Cat” Slippers

Coffee Fanatic

“I Moose Wake Up” Nightshirt

“Given Enough Coffee” Nighshirt

The Gardener

“In the Garden” Pajamas

“Keep Calm & Garden On” Nightshirt

Beach Bunny

“Take Me to the Beach” Nighshirt

“Beach Woman” Pillow

 

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How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

What’s your morning ritual? Coffee in your pajamas can be one of the best ways to start your day – gently transitioning between sleep and awake. It seems that the key is to brewing a delicious cup is part art, part science.

Here’s how to make the perfect cup…

The Water

The quality of the water you use plays a big part in the flavor of your coffee. Many modern coffee makers have built-in filters. But if you’re using a pour-over method or an older coffee maker, be sure you are using fresh water that’s free of impurities – either from a filter system like Brita or a quality bottled water.  And here’s another tip on your water – make sure you use cold water for the best brew!

The Coffee

If you can buy a locally roasted coffee, this is an excellent option because it retains its flavor longer than a coffee roasted somewhere else and transported to you. Basically the clock starts ticking on freshness long before your coffee reaches your counter top.  And of course, it’s always great to support local businesses! Check around your local area and see what’s available. You can also buy directly from roasters online here.

The best scenario for the freshest taste, is to grind your coffee beans just before you brew.  There are two types of grinders – blade and burr.  Burr grinders are the best because they grind the coffee beans evenly, giving you the richest flavor.  You can read more about grinders here.  If you don’t have a grinder at home, you can always buy whole bean coffee and grind it up in the store before you bring it home. It won’t be as fresh as grinding at home, but it is a fresher option than coffee that comes to the store already ground. To keep the beans fresh, store them in an airtight container.

How fine you should grind your beans depends on what brewing technique you use.  You can learn all about that here.  The basic measurement is to use 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water.  But we say, experiment!  If you like a strong cup, you try using a little more coffee. You can always add hot water if it comes out too strong.

The Brewing Technique

There are several different methods to make coffee – a traditional coffee brewer, coffee press, and the pour-over method where you use a filter and brew directly into a cup or carafe. Traditional brewers work great, but its always fun to brew some Italian espresso on occasion or use a French press for variety!

Check out food guru Alton Brown’s “True Brew” recipe with some more helpful tips on creating create good coffee!

How do you make your coffee?  Do you have a favorite brewing method or brand of coffee?Please share with us in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Shereen M via Compfight cc

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Our Favorite Easter Games!

by Becky Boyd, The Pajama Company Editor

Easter games can be so much fun and a great way for kids (and adults!) to burn off some of that sugar from all those treats and candy!  We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite Easter games that the whole family can enjoy.  Think about making these games an annual tradition and your kids will look forward to Easter for more than just what the bunny brings!

Easter Egg Hunt

An egg hunt is a classic Easter game and tons of fun!  This was always my favorite game as a kid.  Fill plastic eggs with treats and prizes and hide them around your house – inside or out.  The kids will love hunting them down and discovering the treats inside.  Check out step-by-step directions here.

Jelly Bean Trail

Create a trail of jelly beans from your kid’s room to their Easter basket.  On Easter morning, kids follow the trail and find their basket waiting at the end!

Easter Egg Roll

For 136 years now, the White House has hosted an Easter Egg Roll with upwards of 30,000 people.  You can host your own egg rolling party and join in the fun too!  Here’s how to set up the game.

Bunny’s Eggs

Much like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”, in this game kids are blindfolded and each take a turn at pinning their egg in the bunny’s arms.  Who ever gets their egg closest to actually being in the arms is the winner.  Here’s a full description of the game here.

Egg Scramble

In this creative tag game, a course is set up and one person is the bunny and the rest of the players are various egg colors.  If the bunny can tag the egg when its color is called, that person becomes the next bunny and the game continues.  Check out more about the Egg Scramble here.

The Bunny Hop

You may have seen the Bunny Hop at weddings and parties, but it can become a fun Easter tradition as well.  Find some fun music and teach everyone the steps!

Duck Walk Race

If this game doesn’t get everyone laughing, I don’t know what will!  Each player lines up at the starting line and squats down and grabs their ankles.  The first person to waddle over the finish line wins!

The Egg and Spoon

Participants walk the course balancing an egg on their spoon with no help from their other hand.  The first person to make it to the finish line without dropping and breaking their egg wins!  More details here.

What games does your family play at Easter time?  Do you have any favorites?  Please share in the comments below!

Photo Credit: dnhart via Compfight cc

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How to throw a Spring Fling Sleepover!

spring fling sleepoverSpring has sprung and the flowers are sprouting! Many kids are looking forward to their spring break and anticipating the fun things they’ll do during their time off. What could be better than a spring-themed slumber party to welcome in the new season?!

Here are some fun ideas to make your spring sleepover super fun!

Have an Indoor Picnic

The evening weather might not be quite ready for a traditional picnic, but a fun idea is to create one inside. Spread a blanket out on the floor and serve your favorite picnic delights. Here are some ideas: veggies and dip, fruit and chocolate, bread and cheese, potato or pasta salad. Pick a refreshing beverage like berry lemonade or peach iced tea. And don’t forget dessert! Make your own strawberry shortcake is always fun or make these adorable sleepover cupcakes ahead of time!

Do a Spring Craft

Choose a fun Spring-themed craft to do together. Pinterest has tons of great ideas from paper flowers to decorating a pillowcase to kid-sized butterfly wings. These embellished “Funky Flip Flops” are my favorite and are sure to be a hit!

Dance Party!

Clear away the furniture, put on some favorite beach tunes and let the kids dance the night away! Or, you can have a dance competition. Split the group into two teams and give them each a song to come up with a dance to. The best dance wins a prize!

Games

There are SO MANY fun sleepover games!  If it is warm enough where you live, you could create a scavenger hunt in the backyard, complete with clue maps and headlamps or flashlights. There’s also the Blind Makeover Game and classics like Two Truths and a Lie. Check out our other posts for sleepover games here and here.

Pamper it Up

Since it’s almost flip flop time, DIY manicures and pedicures are great for this time of year. Have everyone bring their favorite nail polish colors to share.  There’s even a fun game you can play called the Nail Polish Spin Game for a rainbow of nail colors! You can also have your guests create some good-smelling herbal home spa remedies to use like lotions and foot scrubs.

Don’t forget to remind your guests to ditch those winter flannels and wear their favorite spring pajamas!

Photo Credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina} via Compfight cc

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