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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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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