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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How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like getting a bad night’s sleep to throw off my day. When I’m sleep deprived, it affects my concentration and productivity, my overall mood and mindset, and makes it hard to get through the day.

We know that quality sleep is necessary for overall health and peace of mind.  Sleeping gives our bodies and brains time to relax and rejuvenate.  Just like eating, sleep is necessary for our survival.

Stress can be a big factor in sleeping well – whether it hampers your ability to get to sleep or it wakes you up in the middle of the night.  Lots of other factors can come between you and restful sleep – whether it’s eating patterns, your ability to get comfortable, or what you do leading up to bedtime.

Here are some tips to help you slip effortlessly into dream land…

Keep to a schedule.

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each night – even on weekends.  According to the Mayo Clinic, keeping to a consistent schedule sets up your sleep-wake cycle, and will help you to get better quality sleep.

Give yourself time to wind down. 

In the hour or so before your bed time, its best to avoid stressful or over stimulating activities, and give yourself time to transition into sleep mode. If you have a demanding job, steer clear of checking email just before bed. In fact, it’s best to leave the phone and computer in another room while you sleep. If you typically watch TV shows at night, choose shows that aren’t violent or over stimulating. Reading a light book or magazine can be a great way to ease you into relaxation.

Watch what you eat in the hours before bed time. 

Anything you eat about 2 to 3 hours before bed time has the potential to affect your sleep.  Limit the alcohol and caffeine, and instead try a relaxing herbal tea chamomile or lavender tea.  Sleepytime tea is a great option too!

Take a warm bath or shower.

One of my favorite night time rituals is to take a hot bath before bed. I’ve always found it very soothing and relaxing.  Apparently there is some science behind it as well, as mentioned in this article on health.com. It goes something like this: when you fall asleep your body temperature naturally falls. Taking a hot bath raises your temperature a few degrees higher than normal, and then creates a steeper plummet, sending you off into a nice deep slumber.

Wear comfortable pajamas. (Of course!)

Whatever you choose to wear to bed, it should be loose and comfortable. Get rid of any pjs that don’t fit you properly or have irritating features like scratchy fabric or annoying elastic. Pick pajamas that work for you and make you feel good! Some people are more comfortable in shorts than pants, and others prefer a nightshirt to a two-piece pair of jammies. You might even love a one-piece pair of footed pajamas!

Make sure your bedroom supports good sleeping.

Be sure your bed, pillows, and blankets are truly comfortable. Pillows wear out over time and if they are not supporting your neck properly, it can make it tough to get good sleep. You also want to make make sure your room is quiet and dark.  A noise machine or fan can help drown out sounds that may wake you during the night. If your bedroom is not dark enough, try black-out curtains or wearing an eye mask to keep the light out.

We want to hear from you – what are your tips for getting a good night’s rest?  Share with us below in the comments!

Photo Credit: adwriter via Compfight cc

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Six Great Spring Gift Ideas under $30!

Sometimes having more than just candy to put in the Easter basket is a good idea.  The dentist might not be happy, but your wallet will be!  Whether it’s Easter or Passover or that special person’s birthday, here are some great gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

These adorable two-piece PJs with their playful kite print, are perfect for hot summer nights and you can’t beat the sale price!  And, if you like these, you may also like our cute “bug” style as well.

These unisex seersucker print pajama pants are so versatile. They’ll get lots of use Spring and Summer, if not year round!

 

Paired with some fresh flowers or some fun garden gloves, give this breezy nightshirt to the gardening aficionado in your life!

 

Give these guys as a gift and you’re sure to get a smile! Dogs, pigs, ladybugs – we have many other creatures to choose from as well – check out the full line here.

For the little ones, we love these 100% cotton PJ sets from Hatley Nature!

Check out more great bargains in our Today’s Specials.  And don’t miss our Staff’s favorite Spring picks for more gift ideas!

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Capture Your Dreams in Your PJs!

It’s really no secret, but around The Pajama Company we’re always looking for things to do in our pajamas! We believe in being cozy and feeling good, and part of feeling good is finding new ways to take care of ourselves and improve our lives. And, like I said, if we can be cozy in our pjs while we do it – it’s a win-win!

Journaling is a great pj-worthy activity.  Many studies show that journaling helps people to reduce stress.  Writing can help to process emotions that may otherwise just get stuffed down and eventually have a negative impact on the body.  It provides a way to work through problems and to sort out thoughts.  After all, it’s said that the average person has approximately 50,000 thoughts per day.  At that rate, they could use some help!

Journal writing also helps to bring clarity around goals and dreams.  The act of capturing what you desire on paper helps you to be more conscious of what you really want in your life.  If you know what you actually want, you’re more likely to come up with a game plan to make it happen.

Incorporating a journaling practice into your day is a great way to spend a little quiet “me” time.  This means setting aside time each day to spend writing.  All you really need is a few minutes. You might choose to journal first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee. Or maybe you prefer to write just before you go to bed at night. If journaling everyday seems like a lot, commit to doing it once a week and see how that works for you.  

Get Started!

Here’s an easy way to get started journaling: create a gratitude journal.  Each day, focus on and write down three things that you are most grateful for.  This practice of appreciation can work wonders!

Our beautiful blue hardbound Dream Every Day Journal is a great place to capture your thoughts, dreams, and appreciation.  It even has great quotes sprinkled throughout for extra inspiration!

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Do Your Best Work In Your Pajamas!

Working in your pajamas is a luxury.  In fact as I write this, I’m in my PJs and fluffy robe. I feel warm and cozy and as it turns out, my day has been very productive so far. I made myself a delicious cup of coffee with coconut milk, I have some classical music on, and my kitty is dozing beside me.

There are many people who find that feeling comfortable and relaxed helps them to do their best work.  I know it does for me.  When I used to get up and go work in a corporate office cubicle, I felt anything but creative. Gray walls, mediocre coffee, and a 9-to-5 mindset didn’t spark much inspiration in me.  But now that I work from home, I have the freedom to work how I want and in the best way that serves me.

Some people will argue that working in your pajamas makes you lazy. But I don’t agree. I believe that the reason why I work well in my pajamas is because I feel good in them. And in fact, it’s one of the reasons why The Pajama Company was founded, because we believe that you deserve to feel good.  When you get down to it, it’s what we’re all really after, right?  We want to feel good.

One of the keys to working well in your PJs is to find just the right ones that make you feel good and that express your personality.  Whether they’re flannel, silk, or cotton – footed or not – there’s a pair that’s just right to give you comfort and to help get your creative juices flowing!  And if you need to put on some lipstick with your jammies – go for it!  Remember, do what makes YOU feel good!

My personal favorite are the colorful mustache pajamas at the top of this post – so cute and fun! Here are some suggestions for fabulous work-worthy pjs…

Now we want to hear from YOU – how do you do your best work?

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Do you need a Pajama Day?

 

need a pajama day

Every now and then, we all need a Pajama Day. A Pajama Day is a day just for you – to stay home and be comfortable and cozy in your pjs. It’s all about slowing down and doing nothing. No agendas, no work, pure relaxation. It’s a day to read a book, sip some tea, or maybe watch your favorite movie. Just be.

So many of us get caught up in the rat race of life, that we don’t consciously realize when it’s time for a rest. If you are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, feeling irritable, or experiencing a lot of stress – it’s time for you to take a Pajama Day! If you’ve just delivered a big project or met a deadline at work or school, chances are you are in need of some down time.

One of the keys to truly enjoying your Pajama Day is to acknowledge that it’s ok to take it! We often don’t understand that we deserve a break. We actually feel guilty about taking some rejuvenating time just for ourselves. We feel like we need to constantly be striving and working and hustling and doing. Let’s face it – it’s our culture. But we are here to tell you that you are allowed to have a day off to do nothing once in a while!

The truth is that taking a breather now and again will serve you and help you to avoid burning out. You will return to “regular” life refreshed and with more energy. Chances are you’ll be even more productive than you would have been if you hadn’t taken some time off. You’ll feel better and reduce your chances of getting sick.

Here are some tips to make sure you have a truly relaxing Pajama Day:

1. If you have to call in sick or take a personal day, do what you need to ensure that you’re off the clock!

2. Don’t forget to turn off the cell phone. Click on your “out of office” responder email and unplug.

3. Since you’re off all day and not cooking, tell your family to bring home food for dinner.

4. Make sure you have some yummy snacks on hand. Chocolate is really important here!

5. A good novel and your favorite magazines are essential.

6. And of course, don’t get dressed.  Stay in your most loved, cozy PJs!

…Oh, and be sure not to make the bed – you’ll need it for napping!

We want to know — what are your tips for a relaxing day off?  Tell us in the comments below!

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Celebrate Spring!

5 ways to celebrate spring

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” – Robin Williams

Yippee!  Today is officially the first day of spring!  Winter has been pretty challenging for so many with cold temperatures and endless snow and ice. If you live in a warmer climate you may have already put your winter boots away. But if it’s still chilly where you live, rest assured that the warmer weather is around the corner.

Regardless of the weather, the new season calls for celebration! Here are five simple ways to get you in the spring mood…

1. Plant some flowers.

Pick up some colorful pansies from you local garden center.  Pansies are great for spring because they are hardy and can withstand cooler temperatures.  Or better yet, if the temperatures plummet, bring a potted pansy inside to brighten and freshen your counter or table.

2. Make a Fresh Meal

There’s nothing like fresh fruits and veggies to remind you of spring and make you feel energized.  Make a delicious salad with fresh greens.  Cook up a stir fry. Or try a fruit salad for dessert!

3. Get out and enjoy nature.

Lace up those sneakers and get outside.  Whether it’s a park, the ocean, or a mountain trail –  after the long winter, enjoy some well-deserved fresh air and sunshine.

4. Revive your wardrobe.

Springtime just begs for brighter colors and fun patterns!  Maybe it’s time for some new a new floral scarf?  Or perhaps you could use some lighter cotton pajamas? (Use code “SPRING” at checkout for free UPS Ground shipping today!) 

5. Get your toes ready!

Grab your girlfriends and treat yourself to a spa pedicure.  Not only does this give you a chance to relax and catch up with friends, but you’ll be all ready to start sporting your favorite sandals.

Now tell us – what will you do to celebrate Spring?  Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: HereIsTom via Compfight cc

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Pajamas and Shamrock Cupcakes

by Amanda Palmer, The Pajama Company Editor

The title alone makes the day sound heavenly. I know that tomorrow is the actual day but I wanted to get this post out in case you are interested in making my yummy Shamrock Cupcakes for dessert (recipe is found below). But I must say a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all the lovers of the Irish and Irish alike!

I am not Irish (Italian and German by blood) but my wonderful husband is, every year I make the “Irish Boiled Dinner” of cabbage and corned beef yes I know that it is really a New England Boiled Dinner. I do give it a little Irish twist I don’t “boil” the meal I actually cook it in a counter top oven roaster and instead of water I use a pint or two of dark stout beer. I also cook cabbage, potatoes, carrots and the corned beef.

Dinner is usually a casual event in my home. We sit at the table and discuss our day, but dress code for most of us is our pajamas (my husband works nights and is usually getting up from sleeping all day). I will use any excuse to wear pajama just because they are so comfortable, and my kids are the same.

The Pajama Company has these cute Munki Munki “Kerry’s Farm” Poplin pajamas that are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day (because the are green)

There are so many different styles of pajamas at The Pajama Company you can literally wear a pair every single day for a year (and I think still have some left over).

I do want to mention that it is Maternal Health Monday on St. Patrick’s Day so 10% of your purchase will go to  a very worthwhile cause. How can you not indulge and get a cozy pair of pajamas for you and the whole family.

Now for the delicious cupcake recipe that I love making for my family…the best part is it is semi-homemade so you are not slaving in the kitchen all day.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) chocolate cake mix
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons creme de menthe OR 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup mint chocolate chips
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons creme de menthe liqueur OR 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 24 muffin tins with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside.

In large bowl, combine cake mix, water, 2 tablespoons creme de menthe OR 2 tablespoons water plus mint extract, melted butter, and eggs. Beat on low speed until moistened, then beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide among sprayed muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched with finger. Cool in tins 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, 3 tablespoons creme de menthe OR peppermint extract, and 1 cup powdered sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 cup heavy cream until smooth. You can tint the frosting green with food coloring if you’re not using the creme de menthe. Frost cupcakes with this mixture.

Store covered at room temperature.

I hope you enjoy!

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From Sock Monkeys to the Oscars

By Amanda Palmer, The Pajama Company Editor

I am sure the title of my post has everyone scratching their head. What do sock monkeys have to do with the Academy Awards you ask?

This weekend is the first weekend of March, and Saturday the 1st begins the Sock Monkey Madness Festival In Rockford Illinois.

The history of these cute little monkeys is not really known, it is said that they were made in the depression because toys were too expensive. Grandma would take and old pair of socks like these and make a stuffed monkey with them. The monkeys were stuffed with old nylons, newspaper and other items.

So, in honor of Sock Monkey Madness we have special pajamas to help you celebrate these cute little guys. For the kids we have Munki Munki Kids Sock Monkey Pajamas, dress your little monkey in the coziest monkey in town.

And for the ladies we have Munki Munki Flannel Pajamas or Nightshirt whatever makes you feel comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the Academy Awards portion of this post. Every year I watch the Academy Awards snuggled up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa, some popcorn and in my coziest pajamas.

I am sure my favorite part of the Academy Awards is everyone else’s as well. Nothing better than seeing movie stars dressed up in gorgeous clothes making their way down the red carpet so glamorous. It is fun watching everyone’s taste in formal wear, somethings that make it to the red carpet are outrageous. But that is what makes the Academy Awards so much fun.

So, I thought I would share a yummy recipe for the big night:

Smores “Black Tie” Popcorn

10 cups of popped popcorn

4 tablespoosn of butter

2 cups of graham cereal

1- 10 ounce bag of mini marshmallows (divided)

3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

salt to taste

melt butter in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add half the mini marshmallows and stir until melted. Add melted mini marshmallows to popcorn and graham cereal. Toss until evenly combined then all chocolate chips and the rest of the mini marshmallows. Salt to taste. Please let cool before eating.

I love this recipe it is easy to make and it satisfies the sweet and salty cravings in everyone.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and the Oscars!

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Rainy Day Weekend

by Amanda Palmer, The Pajama Company Editor

I love the rain, the sound of it hitting the windows or roof and the distant sound of thunder. It’s wonderful sound makes for a nice sleepy weekend.

Not everyone in my house likes the rain. My kids rather be outside playing so when we have weekends like this I think about all the fun inside things they can do. I call it Palmer Family Fun Day!

I made a great list of Rainy Day Activities you can do and I also have a fun recipe that you can either make as a dessert or lunch depending on the ingredients you use.

1.  Board Games – Nothing like pulling out board games and playing all your family favorites.

2.  Scavenger Hunt –  As mentioned in White Valentine’s Day & President’s Day Weekend you can use this scavenger hunt for days like these as well.

3.  Sock Puppet Theater –  Make your own puppets with socks you cannot find the mate to and then have a puppet show. There are so many different items you can glue on to a sock to make it look like any animal or character you choose. I also keep a kit of googly eyes, pipe cleaners and bits of yarn and fabric on hand for days like these.

4.  Peanut Butter/Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Modeling Clay – Yes this is the modeling clay kids can eat. All you have to do is mix 1 cup of Peanut butter/chocolate hazelnut spread, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup of honey and you have edible modeling clay. Of course you can portion it and color it for even more fun.

5.  Magazine Collage – This is a great fun way to recycle your old magazines. Give the kids a pair of scissors, a piece of construction paper, a little glue and a topic like (show me the things you like to do on a sunny day) and let the imagination go.

6.  Blanket and Pillow Fort – Take blankets and pillows and use coffee tables and chairs to make an ultra cool fort. I love doing this one and then “camping out” in the living room while we watch a movie. This is a good one to get the little ones settled down to take a nap.

7.  Dance Party – Play music and dance with your kids, this is fun to watch the little ones move to the music in their own special way.

8.  Sock “Snowball” Fight – This one my mother started with us. Pair some socks (the kids can help) and then simply have a snowball fight with the socks.

9. Decorate Shower Curtain – Purchase a clear/white shower curtain and permanent markers and let the kids design thier own shower curtain.

10. Read & Draw –  Read a story and then give the kids markers and paper and have them draw a unique ending to the story they just heard.

There you have it, 10 fun and interesting things to do so the kids won’t say the dreaded words “I’m bored”!

There is one more thing I am going to give you to do with your kids and that is cook. Nothing better than some comfort food on a rainy day. The best part this is a semi homemade recipe and depending on the ingredients you choose it can be sweet or savory…or you can do both and have real fun!

Pull Apart Pizza or Cinnamon Bread (You decide)

2 cans of refrigerated biscuit dough

1 Jar Pizza Sauce

2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

1 package of Pepperoni

1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking spray

Or…

2 cans of refrigerated Biscuit Dough

1/2 cup  granulated Sugar

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1 cup Brown Sugar

3/4 cup melted Butter

Oil Bundt pan with oil or cooking spray and layer ingredients well, cook in 325 degree oven for 47 -52 minutes or until golden brown and not doughy any longer.

I hope I have given you a good list of things to do with your children on a rainy pajama day. The best part is you can do this on days that aren’t rainy and make every day a….

 

 

 

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