Tag Archives: Spring

Gardening: The Hottest Hobby Around

As many continue to follow stay at home orders, nurseries and greenhouses are reporting a huge uptick in sales. It seems that gardening has become a very popular hobby.

Aside from enjoying beautiful blooms, or the satisfaction that comes from growing your own veggies and fruits, gardening also has both physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages.

The process of planning, creating, and planting gardens gives your brain stimulation and helps you forget about the stress you may have in your life. Gardening connects us to nature and allows us to focus on the entire process. Your finished product then continues to give back two-fold: It provides an ongoing outlet for stress relief as you maintain it, and the end result is a soothing environment that you can enjoy and decompress in for the entire season.

The physical aspects you gain from gardening have tremendous health benefits. To begin with, gardening releases serotonin and dopamine in our brains, otherwise known as the “feel good” chemicals.  A 2007 study showed that working with soil just makes us happier. A bacterium in soil called Mycobacterium vaccae triggers serotonin release, which in turn lifts mood and reduces anxiety. The human body also benefits from the vitamin D we get from the sun and the fresh air we inhale. These elements give you energy, build immunity, cleanse your senses, and help you sleep better.  Plus… you’ll find that you eat more fruits and vegetables because you have them right on hand. It’s surprising how much more delicious they really are when picked fresh!

The best thing about gardening is that you can have one regardless of where you live. Here are some popular methods for creating your very own garden getaway.

Apartment or Condo Living: You don’t have to have a huge back yard or acres of farmland to surround yourself with nature. Urban patio gardens, for instance, come to life with hanging planters, raised beds, and oversized pots. You can grow just about anything from flowers to vegetables in these receptacles so don’t be afraid to experiment

Small City Lots: If space is an issue, consider a leveled garden and using window boxes to maximize your growing area. You’d be surprised at how many varieties of botanicals, vegetables, and herbs don’t need a lot of room to flourish. Did you know you can turn an old dresser into a beautiful vertical garden? It’s the perfect way to repurpose an unwanted piece of furniture.

Subdivision Spaces: If you live in a subdivision, there is a good chance you have a Home Owners Association that has some guidelines you’ll have to follow. Find out what those are before you start planting because it’s common for HOA’s to limit gardening spaces to side or back yards only. With a little creativity however, that’s plenty of room to grow your garden paradise.

Wide Open Spaces: If you’re fortunate enough to have a larger property where the sky’s the limit you’ve got yourself a gardener’s paradise. Containers, levels, flower beds, hanging baskets, and more can all be worked into your creation. The possibilities are endless so use your imagination. Let both ideas you find online and your local garden center provide inspiration and don’t be afraid to try different things.

The weather is getting warmer so get out your gloves, shovels, and fertilizer and join the growing population of home gardeners. Your new space will be the perfect place to have your morning coffee or evening cocktail, spend family time, and eventually start entertaining again! It’s also the ideal place to just lounge in your pajamas!

 

Happy gardening!

 

We want to see your garden creations! Post your pictures here or visit our Facebook page and let’s see how you enjoy paradise!

 

 

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At Home Spring Activities for the Whole Family

With the weather getting warmer and spring knocking on the back door, it’s time to brush off the winter dust and embrace spring. With what’s currently going on with the Corona Virus, some people are a little nervous about doing things that involve large groups of people, but still want to take in the warmer weather and embrace spring. We’ve got some great ideas on just how to do that without straying too far from home.

blog animals-avian-beaks-birdhouse-1156507Watch the Birds. During March and April, the bird migration season is in full swing. Hundreds of species that spend their winters in warm climates make their annual trips north to breed and spend their summers. They will be hungry from their long flights, so a great way to see a wide array of feathered friends is to set up bird feeding stations. Orioles, Hummingbirds, and songbirds all like different food, so make sure you have enough for everybody. Here is a great resource to learn about different feeding options and how to attract birds to your backyard. You might want to pick up a birders guide as well. The whole family can help identify your visitors and learn a lot along the way.

young-tomato-5808Plan a Garden. Nothing is better than veggies straight from the garden. Not only do they taste so much better than store-bought produce, but the satisfaction from planting, maintaining, and reaping the fruits of your labor are second to none. Sit down with the family and decide what you want to plant and who will be responsible for the various tasks like weeding and watering as the garden evolves. You can get your space ready and start seeds now so that when the weather is warm enough, you are ready to get planting. This website offers hundreds of tips and pointers for starting, planting and caring for your garden.

SM BearCheeks_IGDo Some Spring Cleaning. When the whole family gets involved, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore. You can even do it in your pajamas! Turn on some fun music, assign everyone a task, and go to town. There’s a great chance that you’ll unearth some forgotten treasures and memories in the process. You can also teach kids lessons about giving back to others. Share with them that there are a lot of people who don’t have as much as they do, and how wonderful it can be to donate unused and unwanted items to people who can use them. Have fun with it, teach life lessons, and get organized all at the same time!

family-1454783_640Take a Walk. Ok, so technically this isn’t an ‘at home’ activity but there are likely places in, and around, your neighborhood where you don’t have to deal with crowds but can still get outside, enjoy the weather, get some exercise, and take in nature. Do an internet search for local hiking or walking trails, or large parks where you can be out in the open and enjoy the great outdoors without the crowds.

paint-1167786_640Create Outdoor Art. Brighten your outdoor living space with décor created by your family. There is so much you can do like painting rocks, making patio pavers, and creating flower planters. Look on Pinterest. You’ll find ideas that you never even thought of. And once you’re done, you’ll have one-of-a-kind outdoor artwork for the whole neighborhood to envy!

We’re confident that leaders will be able to control and eliminate the current health scare our country is facing. The most important thing to remember is to practice good hygiene and make wise decisions. If staying home to be safe is one of the things you choose to do, at least these ideas will help make it much more fun. Happy Spring!

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What to Wear Camping

11 Must-Have Summer ‘Glamping’ Essentials

“We should go camping!” exclaims your friend / roommate / significant other and before you know it (before you’ve had your coffee) you shout, “YES! We should TOTALLY go camping!” Three clicks and a rental car later, you made plans to spend the weekend in the great outdoors.

Sleeping under the stars… or on the ground in a hot tent surrounded by bugs… isn’t for everyone, but glamping certainly is. Glamping is short for “glamorous camping” and the concept inspires even the most hardened indoor cats to venture into the wilderness. The idea behind glamping is to make the experience as relaxing and restorative as a night in a hotel. Here’s how.

11 Must-Have Summer Glamping Essentials

Turn Camping into ‘Glamping’ with the Right Gear

1. Effective “Dry” Insect Repellent

If you’re not a fan of the outdoors, this is not the time to try an “all natural” bug spray made of essential oils and unicorn tears. This is the time to stock up on products like OFF! Deep Woods Dry. Bug spray may not sound like “glamping” gear, but the less time you spend tending to mosquito bites and swatting at gnats, the more time you spend enjoying the outdoors. Dry repellents last for 8 hours, aren’t greasy like typical sprays, and are safe to use on your clothing and tents! Make your weekend a bug-free zone.

2. Starter Logs

It’s cute that your partner wants to show you how they learned to make a fire in Scouts over 20 years ago… but on the off chance they’re a little rusty, pack starter logs. Starter logs will have you enjoying perfectly toasted marshmallows in a matter of minutes. Brands like Enviro-Log are safe for the environment and burn clean without all the chemicals.

3. “Fold and Go” Propane Camping Grill

You won’t want to start a bonfire every time you want to enjoy a hot meal. Make mealtime easier with an inexpensive, lightweight “fold and go” propane grill. They pack away neatly, are easy to carry in a backpack, and simple to clean and maintain. These grills are the difference between eating a granola bar for breakfast or savoring a hearty meal of bacon and eggs.

4. Reliable Cooler for the Champagne

With the right cooler or ice chest, you can keep food cold for up to 4 days! Don’t limit yourself to canned food, dry goods, and water. Pack your favorite meats, cheeses, and beverages and enjoy them all at a refreshing temperature. You can’t go glamping without the mimosas!

Light Summer Pajamas

It’s heating up! We adore this cotton pajama set from The Cat’s Pajamas.

5. The Perfect Camping Pajamas

You won’t feel glamorous sliding into your sleeping bag wearing the the same T-shirt you’ve been wearing all day, smelling of sweat and bug spray. Drift off to sleep in a silky, lightweight pajama set that will breathe through even the most humid summer nights. Check out our most popular light, breezy summer pajama sets for inspiration.

6. Air Mattress, Blankets, and Plenty of Pillows

Even the cushiest sleeping bag won’t save your spine from the uneven dirt floor beneath your tent. Splurge on a battery-operated pump for an air mattress. Go ahead and bring sheets, blankets, and plenty of indoor and outdoor pillows to turn your tent into a cozy den of comfort. Don’t forget LED-powered lanterns and battery-operated fans for an extra-luxurious experience.

7. Dry Shampoo and Other Creature Comforts

If your campsite is especially “rustic,” you’re going to need to pack basic creature comforts to live your glamping dream. If there is no running water, bring plenty of moist wipes to freshen up between deodorant applications. Wash your hair with a luxurious dry shampoo before bed, so you can hit your pillow with that “fresh blowout” feeling.

Give a Bathrobe and an At-Home Spa Day for the Holidays 2017

Kashwere Super Soft Shawl Collared Robe

8. A Plush, Luxurious Bathrobe

Even without running water, you can feel instantly cozy in the soft, cocoon-like arms of a high-end bathrobe. Wrap up in your robe at the end of the day, while you read in your tent. Be comfortable during cool early mornings, snug in your robe, sipping coffee brewed over an open flame. The perfect bathrobe instantly elevates any outdoor experience from camping to “glamping.”

9. Entertainment of Every Kind

We know, we know. You’re outdoors, so you should be stargazing and hiking and frolicking in fields with fawns and singing birds… but two or three days in the woods can get a little dull. There’s nothing wrong with bringing a fully charged tablet and watching a movie in the comfort of your pillow-stuffed tent. Of course, bring plenty of board games, card games, books, or magazines for non-electronic entertainment too!

10. The Hammock

Can you really call it “glamping” without a hammock? Don’t forget this absolutely essential piece of glamping equipment. Hammocks are the best way to lounge outdoors. They are easily packed and easily installed between two trees at any campsite. You can even find folding hammocks that pop up independently, without screwing bolts into trees.

11. Elevated S’Mores

We have nothing against Hershey’s, but if you want to take your camping experience from rustic to elegant, start with the s’mores. Instead of the standard Hershey’s milk chocolate, try incorporating bars of artisan chocolate with your graham crackers and toasted marshmallows. Artisanal chocolates come in flavors like candied orange peel, spiced chili, cinnamon, and lavender. This is a simple way to add a touch of luxury to any gathering around a bonfire.

For more ideas for outdoor fun for the whole family, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Rainy Day BBQ Recipes for the Oven

Rain or Shine: BBQ Recipes for the Oven or Grill

Barbecue season has officially arrived! What’s more American than grilling up thick juicy cuts of meat in the great outdoors? The key to hosting a stress-free outdoor bash is to create a backup plan for a rainy day. Unexpected showers are frequent during these temperamental spring-to-summer days and sudden thunderstorms are common in the thick of summer. Rained out barbecues are stressful for a number of reasons, the primary concern being: what the heck are you going to do with all that food?!

Take the pressure off your party planning and have oven-friendly barbecue recipes on hand. If you can move your party indoors or safely tuck your crowd under a tent, you can “party on” even if your grill is out of play. These are our favorite oven-friendly barbecue recipes that can easily be thrown on a grill if the weather lets up!

6 Oven-Friendly Barbecue Recipes for a Rainy Day

Moist Oven BBQ Chicken for a Rainy Day

Super Moist Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken by Heather Likes Food

1. Super Moist Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken by Heather Likes Food

This recipe delivers as promised: chicken so tender you could cut it with a fork and all that smoky BBQ flavor your guests are craving — minus the grill. The secret to Heather’s recipe is the killer overnight marinade. Just be sure you don’t marinade for more than 24 hours! Chicken has a sweet spot and the meat could get a little funky. If the sun decides to make an appearance you can easily change course and throw this flavor-packed meat on the grill instead. Get the full recipe from Heather Likes Food here.

Oven-Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs by AllRecipes

2. Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs by AllRecipes

We’re talking fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth delicious pork ribs straight from the oven. Rain shouldn’t mean that you let all that flavor go to waste! The ground chipotle pepper is the key ingredient in this keeper from AllRecipes. Chipotle peppers have a smoky taste, so even from the oven the meat will taste like it was served fresh off the grill. Get the full recipe from AllRecipes here.

Juicy Oven Steak for a Rainy Day

Juicy Oven Steak by Weary Chef

3. Juicy Oven Steak by Weary Chef

Making steak in an oven sound sacrilegious, but when you’re without a grill and you have to feed a crowd: a host’s gotta do what a host’s gotta do. You can’t go wrong with this tasty steak recipe from Weary Chef. The beef comes out far more tender than it would from a grill and you can easily knock out multiple servings at once. Keep in mind with all of these recipes that the meat needs to rest for a period of 30 minutes before serving, so that gives you plenty of time to move various dishes in and out of the oven. Get the full recipe from Weary Chef here.

Garlic Shrimp Kabobs for a Rainy Day

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs by Damn Delicious

4. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs by Damn Delicious

We are huge fans of Damn Delicious over here and you will probably find one Chungah’s recipes in practically every food post from Pajama Company! If your barbecue is rained out and you have an ungodly amount of expensive jumbo shrimp burning a hole in your fridge, fear not! These flavor-packed Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs are roasted in the oven to perfection. The best part is that they can be served up in a flash in between other oven-barbecue dishes like chicken or steak. If the weather clears up, just throw them on the grill! This recipe is super versatile. Get the full recipe from Damn Delicious here.

BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven for a Rainy Day

BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven by Taste of Southern

5. BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven by Taste of Southern

Were you planning on firing up the smoker this weekend only to have rain ruin your plans? Slow cook that Boston butt in your oven with this delicious pulled pork recipe from Taste of Southern. The recipe includes a homemade dry rub called “Steves Butt Rub” — and you if you can’t get behind that… What we love most about this recipe is that it pleases both sides of the BBQ fence by including a recipe for homemade “NC Eastern Style Vinegar-Based Sauce.” Pull out the sliders and keep the party going. Get the full recipe from Taste of Southern here.

Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks for a rainy day

Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks by Sweet C Designs

6. Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks by Sweet C Designs

Arguably everyone’s favorite: smoky, juicy, crispy drumsticks fresh off the grill. If Mother Nature has other plans for your barbecue menu, don’t panic! This simple recipe from Sweet C Designs will give you the juicy flavor packed chicken with a to-die-for crunchy crust — fresh from the oven. This recipe is loaded with BBQ-in-the-oven pro tips (“Don’t rush the magic!”) that you can apply to the other dishes on this list. Get the full recipe from Sweet C Designs here.

We hope you enjoy these recipes! All of us at The Pajama Company wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Like many Americans, we look for opportunities to support the American worker and American entrepreneur. We’re proud to tell our customers about the brands we carry that produce 100% of their merchandise in the United States.

For more inspiration for family activities or gift ideas, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Pajamas Made In America

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How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

Each year, spring comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Blooming trees are overtaken by lush green foliage and temperatures steadily climb as we cruise into summer at full speed. Summer brings sunshine, friends, and super fun outdoor gatherings. If you’re hoping your backyard becomes your neighborhood’s hot spot for barbeques, dinner parties, and July 4th celebrations, prepare your space with these pro tips.

Light Summer Pajamas

It’s heating up! We adore this summery ‘Made in America’ Flamingo pajama set from The Cat’s Pajamas.

7 Tips to Get Your Backyard Ready for Summer

1. Spring cleaning made easy.

A simple way to add some sparkle to your outdoor space is to give the patio and furniture a good scrub-down. Shave time off this process and rent a pressure washer from your local home improvement store. A pressure washer will blast away years of dirt and grime from any surface. Your patio furniture, windows, siding, fencing, deck, and any masonry will sparkle like the day they were installed — and you won’t even break a sweat! You won’t even have to get out of your pajamas.

2. Create a chef’s paradise.

The first step in entertaining is wanting to entertain. Create an inviting space where you and your family can cook, mix drinks, and socialize. First, give your grill a good deep clean to keep it running safely in tip-top shape. Consider investing in a patio-friendly kitchen island, so you can spread out your ingredients and comfortably have everything at your fingertips. Place the cooler or ice bucket next to the island so it can double as “the bar.” Guests will stop by for a drink and chat while you’re manning the grill. If there’s a garden bed nearby, it might the perfect spot for herbs. An herb garden will provide you with fresh ingredients for your favorite dishes and refreshments all summer long!

Lazy One Flapjack Kids Pajamas

Safety first! When treating your lawn, opt for eco-friendly pest and weed control so your little ones can safely enjoy the great outdoors!

3. Give the lawn a facelift.

A week or two before you plan to host your first backyard soiree, trim the grass, seed and fertilize bald spots, and spray for weeds. If you’re concerned about harmful chemicals, there are a host of “green” alternatives on the market today. Now you can keep your grass looking fresh while keeping your kids and pets safe. Even if you’re not in the mood to plant, weed and mulch your garden beds to give them a “fresh” appearance before your guests arrive. With these small adjustments, your yard will look like a manicured putting green.

4. Light it up!

Lighting is essential for creating a magical ambiance for summer outdoor gatherings. Pull out your ladder and check and replace the bulbs in your existing outdoor lighting. If your backyard is darker than you’d like, consider installing easy solar-powered lights that don’t require a power-source. Many quality solar brands have an impressive battery life and will last well into the night. Other options are battery-operated LED lanterns, that can be installed virtually anywhere with a weight-bearing hook.

5. Plan for pests.

With the warm weather comes all sorts of creepy crawlies. Again, there are plenty of eco-friendly options if you’d like to spray for insects like ants in the weeks before you entertain. Stock up on deet-free bug spray for guests and citronella candles or citronella oil burners. Another option for pest control is to plant lemongrass, lavender, and mint. Not only are these plants beautiful and functional, they also deter mosquitoes and gnats!

Creative Outdoor Seating

Get creative with your outdoor seating! This sleek modular bench can be used in a variety of ways.

6. Creative seating.

If you plan on entertaining a crowd throughout the season, having a set or two of stackable outdoor chairs tucked away in your shed or garage is a great idea. However, storage space can be an issue for many homes. In this case, get creative and choose seating that serves multiple purposes. For example, simple benches can seat many people, take up minimal space, and can also serve as a place to set a drink down. Cut logs are rustic and decorative, but can be used as either a seat or a side table. Think outside the box to make the most of your space!

7. Shade and shelter.

Summer makes us think of sunshine, but can turn at any moment — especially if you’re living in the Northeast! Whether it’s a sudden scorcher or an unexpected summer storm, be prepared with flexible shelter so your party isn’t crammed indoors or cancelled. Umbrellas with bases are an excellent solution as are “pop up tents,” which can be quickly assembled and easily stored.

We hope you find these tips useful! All of us at The Pajama Company wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Like many Americans, we look for opportunities to support the American worker and American entrepreneur. We’re proud to tell our customers about the brands we carry that produce 100% of their merchandise in the United States.

For more inspiration for family activities or gift ideas, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Pajamas Made In America

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Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018

Not-Your-Mama’s Pajamas: 2018 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Okay, so maybe they will be your mama’s pajamas. Some people think that pajamas and bathrobes are the “safe” gift choice for Mother’s Day. We can’t argue that everyone loves to be comfortable (it’s a fact!), but pajamas are also a fun way to show off your personality in the comfort of your home. With the right personal touch, any one of these unique pajama sets are guaranteed to bring a smile to your mom’s face on her big day.

7 Unique Pajama Sets for Every Mom

Mother's Day Bathrobe from Kasher

Seasonless Robes by Kashwere

1. Mom’s All Business

No one has more hustle than your mom. When she’s not on the grind, she’s unwinding with a nice glass of wine in the bathtub. Do not disturb! For the mother that works hard and relaxes harder, pair her favorite vino with bath salts and our most luxurious bathrobe by Kashwere. It’s a gift that says “I appreciate all you’ve sacrificed: now please use your vacation time.”

The Travel Collection by Munki Munki for Mother's Day

The Travel Collection by Munki Munki

2. Where’s Mom?

No, seriously, where is she? Did she fly to the Caribbean with her sister? Head to Napa for the weekend with her bestie? Take on New York with her book club? If your mother loves to jet, show her you support her frequent flier status with a pair of pajamas from this cheeky Travel Collection by Munki Munki. Throw in a cute pack of travel-sized toiletries, an eye mask, and a quality travel pillow to highlight the theme. Bon voyage!

Dog Themed Pajamas from PJ Salvage for Mother's Day

Life’s Ruff Pajama Set by PJ Salvage

3. Mom’s Other Baby

If you take a backseat to a smaller, furrier, four-legged baby — you’re not alone. Show mom that you fully accept your fur-sibling with this super fun pajama set from PJ Salvage. To tie in the doggy theme, include fancy dog treats and a pack of tennis balls. After all, the dog probably deserves a reward for being better behaved than you were as child, right?

Pajama Sets by Needham Lane for Mother's Day

Ellie Navy Pajama Set by Needham Lane

4. Mom’s So Fancy

Your mom has more Instagram followers than you do. She’s dressed to the nines and looks flawless in every selfie. For the mom who prides herself in being “best dressed,” send her to sleep in style with this gorgeous pajama set from luxury PJ designers, Needham Lane. Needham Lane pairs classic cuts with high-end fabrics and contemporary patterns. Throw in a gift certificate for a mani-pedi and you’ve got a Mother’s Day win.

The Queen Bee Collection by The Cat's Pajamas for Mother's Day

The Queen Bee Collection by The Cat’s Pajamas

5. The Queen Bee

Have you stopped buying zucchini since your mom took up gardening? If your mom yearns for spring and likes to spend the warm months outdoors with her hands in the dirt, then gift her a beautiful set of pajamas from The Queen Bee Collection by The Cat’s Pajamas. Include a new pair of gardening gloves and a few packs of seeds to add a thoughtful touch.

Sushi Pajamas for Mother's Day

The Sushi Collection by The Cat’s Pajamas

6. Foodie Flavor

Your mom has her finger on the pulse when it comes to food. Whether she’s experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen or dragging your dad to the latest restaurant opening, she’s first in line to try all the latest trends. Show her some foodie love by taking her out to dinner and gifting her a pair of these fun sushi-themed pajamas by The Cat’s Pajamas. We dare anyone not to smile that this joyful little set.

Sushi-Themed Pajamas for Mother's Day

The Sushi Collection by The Cat’s Pajamas

7. Lounge Lover

It’s 11am on a Saturday and you know for a fact that your mother is just now considering starting her day. For the mom who loves to lounge hard on the weekends with a pot of coffee, a sunny chair, and a good book — encourage all three. For Mother’s Day, gift her this Fancy Coffee Pajama Set by Munki Munki, a gourmet roast, and the latest book from her favorite author. A simple, thoughtful, personalized Mother’s Day gift.

For more ideas for Mother’s Day fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog

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Spring Cleaning Pro Tips

Spring Cleaning is a Breeze with These Pro Tips

Treetops that were dusted with the reddish hue of leaf buds are now bursting with vibrant spring colors. We welcome the fresh spring air by throwing open our windows and… hey, what is that all over our windows? Can dust be simultaneously dusty and greasy? Where the heck did all this dirt come from?! Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a headache, so go ahead and throw open your windows and the cabinet under your sink. With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to tackle spring cleaning in your pajamas, without breaking a sweat.

Spring cleaning is a breeze with these pro tips!

7 Best Spring Cleaning Shortcuts

1. Rugs and Carpets. Take a minute to clean your vacuum. Yes, you read that correctly. Cleaning out the filter and brushes — which are often tangled with a mess of hair — will make it as powerful as the day you bought it. This is especially true of robotic vacuums, like the Roomba. With your machine in tip-top shape, you’ll spend less time going over the same area again and again. For an extra boost, generously sprinkle your rugs and carpets with baking soda and leave overnight. The baking soda “traps” moisture and smells. Thoroughly vacuum the baking soda the next morning.

2. Windows. For the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time, focus on the outside of the windows and don’t sweat the details. Pick up a preferred window or exterior cleaner that is approved for the outdoors. Brands like Scotts and Windex have created cleaner that will attach to your garden hose, so you can skip renting the pressure washer. Just spray and done!

3. Walls and Doors. Some people wash their walls and doors annually. We’re not those people. Spot clean high-traffic, high-touch areas with a product like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The areas around door handles and door jams gather a layer of grime. The “Magic Eraser” lives up to its name. With little effort, you can erase this tricky layer of dirt. It also removes scuff marks from doors!

Spring Cleaning Hack for Bathrooms

Use shaving cream to shine your bathroom fixtures.

4. Oven. If your oven has a “self clean” option, use it. Plan to be out for the day while it works its magic and be sure to crack a window so the house doesn’t smell like gas. After it’s done self-cleaning simply wipe it down. “Self-cleaning” means that the oven reaches its peak temperature for a long period of time, rendering everything inside to ash. If the oven doesn’t have a self-clean option and your scared of the chemicals in harsh spray-on oven cleaner, a thick layer of baking soda and vinegar can remove most of the grime. Leave the solution on for 30 minutes and wipe the paste away with a sponge and water. Easy peasy.

5. Refrigerator. The worst part of cleaning the fridge is taking everything out and putting it back in… and the cleaning. With a little planning, you can cut a lot of time off this process. Simply clean the fridge when you know you will be low on groceries. If you’re concerned about cleaning with chemicals in an area where you store food, use baking soda and vinegar as you would to clean your oven. It will quickly remove any stains and food gunk!

6. Bathroom. Everyone’s least favorite room to clean! Instead of scheduling time to clean the room, spot clean with these handy bathroom cleaning hacks. If you’re using baking soda and vinegar to clean other rooms in the house, sprinkle both in your toilet and let it sit for 15 minutes — flush and done! While you’re shaving, you can rub shaving cream on your fixtures, rinse, and they’ll sparkle. If you’re a tea drinker, you can take the tea bag from your morning cup and wipe down your mirror for a streak-free shine.

7. Tile. The grout between tiles is one of the hardest parts of your home to clean — and the most tedious. Scrubbing apart sponges or spending hours scouring with an old toothbrush are not appealing approaches. If you have a lot of tile in your home and a drill, consider purchasing a drill brush. This is a scrub brush attachment for a drill, originally designed for auto detailing, that allows you to power through your grout cleaning! After you’re finished, use a candle made of wax that is similar to your grout color. Gently rub the candle over the grout. The light wax coating will keep your grout clean for longer!

We hope these spring cleaning tips help you spend less time cleaning and more time in your pajamas this weekend! For more tips for easy living, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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7 Best Earth Day Seed Starters

Earth Day: 7 Easy Indoor Seed Starter Projects

Earth Day is coming up this Sunday, April 22nd. Celebrate Mother Earth by planning a summer garden with your family. Buying fully grown plants is expensive and unnecessary. Seeds are more affordable and sprouting them indoors gives them a better chance of surviving outdoors.

Sprouting the seeds indoors protects the seeds from being eaten by birds and keeps the sweet sprouts from being devoured by insects. Plan your summer garden this spring with these simple upcycled indoor seed starter projects. These fun ideas turn everyday trash into helpful gardening tools. No green thumb required!

Queen Bee from The Cat's Pajamas

We adore this ‘Queen Bee‘ PJ set from The Cat’s Pajamas!

Simple Upcycled Seed Starters for Earth Day

Earth Day Seed Starter Milk Jug Greenhouse

1. Milk Jug Greenhouses. Got plastic? Upcycle your plastic milk jugs by cutting off the tops and using the base as a container to grow plants. If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can reuse the entire jug by turning it into a self-contained miniature greenhouse. In this cool tutorial from Preparedness Mama, you learn how to create a sprouting container that keeps the soil moist so you can grow your delicate seedlings in direct sunlight. Depending on the type of seed you’re growing, your plants will sprout in three days and will be ready for your garden in just two weeks. Learn how on preparednessmama.com

Earth Day Seed Starters Mason Jars

2. Mason Jar Seed Starters. It’s not a ‘DIY’ list unless there’s a project involving mason jars, amiright? The great thing about this seed starter project from Miser Mom is that depending on how many jars you save, you can create so many seedlings at once! If you wrap a ribbon around the top of the jars, these also make great gifts. A mason jar sprout is a thoughtful way to encourage your neighbors to start their own summer gardens. Learn how on miser-mom.blogspot.com

Earth Day Seed Starter Chinese Takeout

3. Takeout Container Seed Pods. Turn cardboard Chinese takeout containers into beautiful and unique ‘seed pods’ courtesy of this tutorial from instructables. Most of these containers are water-resistant to keep saucy food from leaking. This means that they won’t leave water stains on your window sills as you move them around the house, chasing sunlight. When it’s time to transplant, the sides easily fold down, making it nearly impossible to damage the roots unlike traditional flower pots that require a bit of shaking. Learn how on instructables.com

Earth Day Projects Milk Carton Seed Starter

4. Egg Carton Seed Starters. This is probably the most popular method of starting seeds at home. You can purchase planters specifically designed for starting seeds at your local home improvement store. You can grow seeds in these planters just as you would a traditional pot, but you can plant the entire container when it comes time to transplant. The containers are designed to biodegrade. Traditional egg cartons are also biodegradable. You can start the seeds in each slot, then cut apart the container and bury it whole when you’re ready to transfer the contents to your garden. Learn how on motherearthnews.com

Earth Day Projects Juice Seed Starter

5. Juice Carton Seed Starters. Cardboard juice cartons (or milk cartons) are perfect for starting a garden on your windowsill. They’re deep enough that you can grow the seedlings to a hearty size before transplanting and wide enough that you can fit multiple plants in each container. This image was found on Pinterest.

Earth Day Projects Seed Starter from Newspaper

6. Newspaper Seed Starter. Doesn’t get any easier than this! If you have an old newspaper on hand, you can learn to fold the paper into a container, origami style. As with egg cartons, the newspaper container and your sprouted plants can be placed directly into the ground, avoiding ‘transplant shock.’ Learn how to turn an old newspaper into a beautiful planter on HGTV.com

Earth Day Projects Loofah Seed Starter

7. Loofah Sponge Seed Starter. We saved the best for last! This is a decidedly unique way to recycle an old loofah sponge. Traditional loofah sponges are made of natural materials that will break down and feed your plant after you transplant the sprout. The container is ideal for encouraging root growth. You might argue that loofahs actually make better seed starters than exfoliants! Learn how to upcycle your loofa on thymesquaregarden.blogspot.com

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

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Rainy Day Craft Ideas for Kids

April Showers: Simple Rainy Day Crafts for Kids

April showers bring… cold, rainy weekends with the whole family stuck indoors! Make the most of a rainy spring day with easy crafts you can do with the kids. Don’t have a PhD in Pinterest? No worries. These are truly simple craft ideas that everyone will enjoy. So easy, you can stay in your pajama pants all weekend. These craft ideas only require items you can find in your house or at your local dollar store. No gold leaf paint required.

Rainy day pajama day!

These Kids FlapJack Pajamas from Lazy One are perfect for rainy day fun!

11 Easy Rainy Day Crafts for Kids

Rainy Day Finger Puppets

1. Marker Top Finger Puppets. We’re willing to guess you have a dried up marker or two (or thirty?) hiding around the house. Use the caps and materials like construction paper, yarn, twine, or pipe cleaners to make these fun finger puppets featured on The Handmade Adventures of Captain Crafty.

Rainy Day Marble Paint Project

2. Marble Painting. We love this one from The Mother Huddle! It’s finger painting with a twist. Squirt a little paint on top of  a sheet of paper inside a baking pan. Drop a marble or small ball inside and let your kiddo twist and turn the pan to roll the ball through the paint and create one-of-a-kind works of art! This craft combines getting messy with the added bonus of a noisy marble rattling around a baking pan — sure to be a hit!

Rainy Day Puppet Theater Project

3. Rainy Day Puppet Theater. Maybe combine this idea with the ‘Marker Top Finger Puppets’? A rainy day is perfect for a day at the theater, especially if your kids construct it from this cool template that you can run off your printer! Using only a cracker or cereal box, paper, scissors, glue or tape, and some popsicle sticks or skewers — your kids can quickly create their own puppet theater with this craft from BKids.

Rainy Day Paper Lantern Craft

4. Tracing Paper Lanterns. Using translucent tracing paper and watercolors or markers, have your kids create pictures and tape or glue them to old glass jars. Pop a tealight inside and you have mood lighting for dinner, courtesy of your children. The original project idea from Mamascout is a bit more involved if you want to get fancy!

Rainy Day Fun Googly Eyes

5. Eye-Bombing. Another idea we’re in love with! Using a pack of stick-on googly eyes, “eye bomb” common objects in your house to turn them into a source of silliness! This craft would be even funnier if another parent or older sibling were to come home to discover the random peepers! A big belly laugh courtesy of MiniEco.

Rainy Day Egg Carton Craft

6. Egg Carton Bouquet. The kids with love creating a new springtime centerpiece for your kitchen table. This fun upcycled craft idea comes from Better Homes & Gardens. Simply cut up an egg carton, paint each of the “egg holders,” and twist together pipe cleaners to make stems.

Rainy Day Marble Run Craft

7. Cereal Box Marble Run. This super simple marble track from Made by Joel uses only a cereal box, scissors, and glue to create hours (okay… maybe 40 minutes?) of fun for your little one. You can encourage your kiddos to get more creative and paint or color the box, add stickers, glitter — go wild!

Rainy Day Fish Craft Project

8. Fishy Fun. Have paper plates laying around the house? Create these fun, Pac-Man inspired fish from Made Everyday with scissors, construction paper, and whatever else you have on hand. This is craft is especially fun considering the recent popularity of book The Pout Pout Fish. It could be a great project after story time!

Rainy Day Brushless Painting Activity

9. Brushless Painting Station. Kids love getting messy. A surefire way to keep them busy for hours is to encourage some messy play. NurtureStore suggests a “brushless” painting station. Using utensils, leaves, twigs, cotton balls, sponges, cookie cutters… let your kids paint with anything but a brush! This craft is guaranteed to grant you a couple hours of silence.

Rainy Day Memory Game

10. Memory Game. This is a simple old school rainy day activity that will definitely pass some time! Curly Birds suggests putting a handful of objects on a tray — all the same color — and have the kids stare at it for a few minutes to memorize what they see. Cover the tray with a cloth and take one object away and have them guess which one is missing. This is not only great for memory, it’s a wonderful way to help them build their language skills!

Pop Up Zoo Rainy Day Craft

11. Pop-Up Zoo. This pop-up zoo craft idea from Tinker Lab will keep your children amused for the whole afternoon! Have them create the animals they know and recognize and then invent new ones for some whacky imaginative fun!

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

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Activities That Will Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy

Puppy Love: Keep Your Bestie Happy and Healthy with These Activities

Spring has sprung! (Unless you’re living in the Northeast… over here spring comes and goes as it pleases.) The blustery winter weather is becoming less severe and warmer spring days are more frequent. This is great news for you and your dog, as the warmer weather opens up a slew of activities for you to enjoy!

Your pup loved cuddling with you on the couch in matching pajamas during the long winter months, but dogs crave companionship, entertainment, and mental stimulation just like people do. Make time for activities that will facilitate exercise, bonding, and learning for a happy, healthy dog. Your best friend will reward your effort with unconditional love — but we have a feeling that’s already on the table.

Fun Activities for You and Your Dog

We’re dog lovers and we adore this Cool Cowboy Dog Flannel Set from PJ Salvage!

7 Tail-Wagging Activities to Keep Your Dog Healthy

1. Choose a different path. Do you ever get bored with your daily walk route? Chances are, your pup does too. Mix it up and explore a different part of your neighborhood. Or if you go to the same park every morning, try a new one. Plan to move slowly so your dog can soak up all the new sights, sounds, and smells. Not instinctively knowing what turns you’re going to take will be far more entertaining and mentally stimulating. Despite the slow pace, don’t be surprised if your dog is more worn out than usual, from processing all the new information!

2. Go for a hike. Instead of your everyday walk route, mix it up and hit a trail with your dog. Maybe your nearest trailhead or national park is 15 minutes away, or maybe it’s a day trip. A car ride and picnic lunch will just be another super exciting bonus for your pup. Be sure to bring a towel in case your dog happens upon a stream and decides to go for a dip! The best part of a good hike is the rewarding view from the top, and who better to share it with than your best friend?

3. Ultimate Fetch. Do you have a dog who loves to chase a tennis ball? These handheld tennis ball launchers give you the ability to throw a ball up to 85 feet, effortlessly! This is perfect for a high-energy breed who wears you out when you’re playing. Bring a water dish, even if it’s cold out, so your buddy doesn’t dehydrate. A dozen throws with this gadget and your pup will be ready for a nap!

4. Tracking. If you enjoy hiking or taking long walks in the woods, this might be the perfect hobby for you and your dog to share. Tracking gives your dog a “job” during your walks and provides them with a challenge, something most dogs enjoy immensely. There are many books that can teach you how to train your dog to track. This is an activity that will be fascinating and fun for both of you!

Outdoor Activities for You and Your Dog this Spring

Keep your best bud warm in this super cute dog hoodie from Big Feet!

5. Agility Training. If your dog is on the high-energy side, consider agility training. Not only will it burn energy, it will teach your active breed to listen and focus. If you’re competitive, there are many regional competitions your dog can participate in if your dog shows promise. A quick search online will yield agility training classes in your area. If classes aren’t an option, there are many online videos that will teach you how to train your pup at home!

6. Puzzle Toys. Puzzle toys are often used to distract dogs that experience anxiety while their owners are at work. Puzzles are also used to distribute meals to a dog that eats too quickly. Even if your dog doesn’t experience these issues, puzzle toys are a blast! You can use them indoors or outdoors (if you want to keep a certain someone from being under foot at a BBQ). They often come with different difficulty levels and can be purchased at your local pet supply store or online. If buying in store, talk to a customer service representative who will help you determine your dog’s skill.

7. Frisbee. Believe it or not, you can join versions of ‘ultimate frisbee’ teams with your dog in some regions of the US! Even without the team, if your dog enjoys fetch she’ll love the added challenge of the frisbee. A frisbee takes more focus for you to throw and requires more skill for your dog to catch. Your pup will have to judge the arc of the frisbee’s path and the speed of descent. A frisbee isn’t just another thing to fetch, it’s an extra mental workout for your dog!

For more ideas for how to have fun with your buddy this spring, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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