Jacaranda's Mission Statement

Cathy’s Recent Visit to South Africa and the Ladies Who Embroider for Us

Living our Mission for South Africa and Beyond

The mission of Jacaranda Living is as follows:

To produce beautiful quality linens and gifts made by talented people around the world, whose personal circumstances are less fortunate than ours.

Cathy recently traveled to South Africa for a visit.  While there, she stopped in to the studio to visit the women who embroider products featured in our catalog. The workspace is more of a studio than a factory. The women have comfort, safety, and based on the comments Zandile made in this video, they enjoy their work. In fact, Zandile travels three hours each way to come to work embroidering and constructing the pretty boudoir and baby pillow covers that we sell.

Where is Kwazulu-Natal?

According to Wikipedia, Kwazulu-Natal is known as “the garden province.” It was created in 1994 and borders the Indian ocean. The area faces issues with evictions and political controversy, and also has the highest rate of HIV infection at 39%.

As our About Us page states, founders Cathy and Martin Deale were born and grew up in the Kwazulu Natal region. Cathy had a passion for fine linens and needlework. This resulted in her wanting to help the people of this area of South Africa. She recognized the high quality of their workmanship, but also saw the challenges they faced; both economically and in their every day lives.  Because of this, she looked for a way to expand the market horizons for these individuals by bringing their work to Boston and founding Jacaranda Living.

Cathy visiting with the ladies in South Africa

From those humble beginnings, the company has been able to expand its product mix. They now offer  items made by groups from Africa and around the world living under similar circumstances. Subsequently, Jacaranda Living has added items made by women from other regions of Africa as well as India and China.

Cathy, Martin and the Jacaranda Living team are committed to supporting their customers. Visit the website and explore the beautiful items offered. We think you’ll agree they’re perfect as gifts for you and your family.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KwaZulu-Natal

 

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Dressing Vintage – Choose Your Own Personal Style

From frilly silk blouses to retro 70’s chic, vintage dressing can give you a chance to dress up or down with a style all your own. There is a trick though, to making it look like high fashion and dressing with intent rather than just wearing old clothes that don’t sync with today’s trends. Make sure you know how to combine true vintage, with modern clothing to give yourself a look that is uniquely you!

How Does Costume Differ from Vintage Dressing?

It’s all in how far you go. If you’re going for a 50s look, give your outfit a 50s flair. Don’t do shoes, bag, blouse, skirt AND hair. Choose one or two pieces that hit the chosen decade, and mix them up with something from today. As Glamour recommends, keep the other pieces simple, for example a simple black blouse, and slacks paired with a funky 50s coat and bag give a boost of vintage without looking like you’re playing dress up.

Updating a Vintage Look

From changing buttons, to adding a modern belt or layering, making just a tiny change can take a vintage look from drab to, you guessed it, fab! If you find an amazing dress but the length isn’t right, or it features shoulder pads that make you look like a well-known linebacker, take them to a local tailor for an update. Shorter hems, necklines with a modern edge, or even a shorter sleeve can give new life to a retro look. But it does result in an inexpensive item from the thrift store suddenly costing significantly more, so make sure it’s something you’ll want to wear more than once.

Pretty short set perfect for that vintage look

Comfortable enough for vacation wear

Used Clothing Aren’t the Only Way To “Go Vintage”

Some people have an issue with shopping through second hand clothing stores, or dealing with the mothball smell of clothing from grandmother’s attic. But you can still go vintage with sweet details like embroidery, lace, and quality pure fabrics like cotton and linen. Pair a pretty short sleeved pajama top (like the one featured in this picture from Jacaranda Living) with a mini jeans skirt, or a favorite pair of jeans and a belt and you’ll have a touch of delicate vintage. As Diana Jone of becomegorgeous.com points out, many modern clothes feature lace, ribbons, bows, and ruffles that will give you an air of vintage and add a fun feminine look to your wardrobe.

pretty lace pajama top can double as blouse

Lace-trimmed Summer Comfort

Vintage for Every Day

Some people feel vintage is something you need to save for a special occasion. A wedding, an afternoon tea, or a holiday seems like the perfect opportunity to highlight a special look. But sneaking a bit of vintage into everyday can be a great way to stand out, while also fitting in. Consider a lacy pajama top under a sweater or jacket for the office. Pack a sweet scarf-belted lace trimmed nightgown for summer days. Even this cute lace trimmed short set with a simple necklace and flats are perfect for traveling in warmer climates.

 

Vintage-style lace neckline

Vintage dressing is all about featuring one or two pieces that work with other items in your wardrobe. Whether it’s a one-time thing, or something you build into your own personal style, vintage dressing has a few guidelines:

  • Quality
  • Fit
  • Appropriate to the wearer

Give consideration to the setting, dress code, and your own comfort level. Vintage dressing can be fun while providing you with a unique way to stand out from the crowd.

Sources

http://www.glamour.com/gallery/dos-and-donts-of-wearing-vintage#4

http://www.becomegorgeous.com/fashion-style/new_trends/fashion_tips_how_to_dress_vintage-597.html

http://apairandasparediy.com/2013/05/how-to-wear-vintage/

 

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Thoughtful Gifts for a Premature Baby (and Mom)

Today, with advances in medicine, premature babies have an ever increasing chance for survival. It’s not uncommon to hear, “we don’t care what the baby is, as long as its healthy.” But there are many babies today born too early, and they are still very much wanted, and loved. If a premature baby has arrived in your life, there are gifts that can help baby and mother/father bond, and give an added boost for stability and development. Take that extra step and give a gift of thoughtfulness the new mother will appreciate.

Skin-to-Skin Care for Premature Babies

Also known as Kangaroo Mother Care, skin to skin care is often recommended for premature or preterm babies. According to Kangaroo Mother Care’s website, skin-to-skin contact can provide a number of benefits including:

  • Better brain development
  • Better emotional development
  • Less stress
  • Less crying
  • More settled sleep
  • Breathe better
simple, pure cotton, buttonfront nightie

Button front, comfortable cotton

There are also benefits for the parents of premature babies:

  • Parents become more central to the care team
  • Better bonding and interaction with the baby
  • Emotional healing
  • Parents are calmer
  • Better coping skills in the NICU

 

But what about when baby comes home? Is skin-to-skin still important?

At feeding time, skin-to-skin care can help!

Skin-to-skin care can also assist at home for babies who have trouble relaxing and settling at feeding time. For both bottle and breastfeeding, skin to skin can help them gain a sense of security and assist in transition them to the sucking action needed to latch on and feed appropriately.

Tummy-time can be mommy or daddy and baby time.

“Tummy Time” is also an important part of a baby’s development. According to babygooroo, this time spent each day can assist babies in developing healthy tummy structure, and neck muscles. The good news is you don’t have to just leave the baby on a blanket on the floor. Get involved in tummy time by letting baby lie on your tummy. Jacaranda Living’s Carly Nightgown with button front, and our  full line of embroidered pajamas are perfect for a relaxing, or not so relaxing day spent with a new baby, and plenty of tummy-to-tummy time.

Cotton Pajamas help mom and baby

The perfect pajamas for a new mom

They’re a perfect choice for a new  mother, or mother-to-be. Whether baby is full term or premature, comfortable, embroidered cotton sleepwear is a special treat mom will enjoy immediately because of the flexibility it offers for spending time with the new little one in her life. She’ll also appreciate it later on, when looking for something to relax in for a much-needed night’s sleep!

Embroidered cotton pajama tops make a great cool summer top

Pretty enough for every day!

Some of our pajama tops are even cute enough to wear as a cool summer top!

Preemie Daywear – What’s best?

Premature babies can have difficulty with body warmth in the early weeks. While the NICU will provide for them, once a small baby is home, making sure to provide comfortable, warm and safe clothing is important. Too warm is not good, but choosing a light fabric and being able to layer is a good idea.

Consider the benefit of natural fabrics like cotton which is soft, and breathable and ranked among natural fabrics as the best for babies. Cotton is washable, and comfortable for little ones to snuggle down in. Another recommendation included on babycenter.com is avoiding ribbons, strings and ties. These can present a choking hazard for infants. Baby Sacks from Jacaranda Living are a perfect choice, with no strings or ties, and an elastic bottom to keep tiny feet warm, but allow for movement and air circulation.

pure cotton baby sacks, custom embroidered

Perfect for newborns to wear all day!

They also offer mitten cuffs to keep baby from scratching himself. In a variety of embroidery options and matching accessories, including onesies, booties, hats and bibs, these are a great baby shower gift or welcome home surprise!

The Benefit of Booties

Booties are a great way to keep baby’s feet warm but give you flexibility when temperatures change. It’s easy to remove booties (your little one will probably find that out quickly!), when you’re outdoors on a warm day, but to put them back on in air-conditioned spaces. Taking a walk on a sunny day with a bit of a breeze can be comfortable for you, but perhaps a bit too chilly for naked baby feet. According to Footfiles, infant socks, or booties can help with fussiness, difficulty sleeping, decreased appetite and poor weight gain! A simple item of clothing can make an obvious difference! So, consider our wide range of booties as a perfect option, for you or someone you know!

pure cotton baby booties in a vareity of designs

Froggy booties are sweet

Sources

http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/

https://babygooroo.com/articles/10-ways-to-do-skin-to-skin-care

https://www.babycenter.com/404_whats-the-best-sleepwear-for-my-baby_7628.bc

http://www.footfiles.com/health/childrens-foot-care/article/barefoot-babies-are-socks-good-or-bad-for-newborns

 

 

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Cute and Elegant Ideas for Flower Girls from Jacaranda Living

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase bridal party? Bridal showers? Getaway weekends? Bachelorette parties? It keeps everyone pretty busy in the weeks (and months) leading up to that big day. But if your bridal party includes a flower girl or two (or three) why not include them in your planning? And give some extra thought to making them look oh so sweet when it comes to the big day?

embroidered cotton dresses for girls

Sweet embroidery on delicate cotton is perfect for a flower girl

What Does a Flower Girl Do?

Asking someone to be a flower girl  is the first step. But knowing what they’re supposed to do can help make that question (and your choice of little girl) an easier one. According to The Knot, flower girls are usually three – eight years old.  Their primary duty is to walk down the bridal path (or aisle). They traditionally walk ahead of the Maid of Honor, scattering flower petals. For a change of pace, consider having her walk just ahead of the bride, or hand in hand with the ring bearer. Just remember the most important requirement of a flower girl: she needs to be able to follow direction, and not be so overcome with stage fright that she dumps the basket and runs. (Don’t laugh, it’s happened more than once!). You want it to be a fun (and successful) day for both of you!

Flower girls carrying rose petals

Dainty flower girls

Traditions for the Flower Girl

According to BrassPaperClip, the tradition of flower girls started back in ancient Rome with young girls carrying sheaves of wheat and herbs to ensure blessings of prosperity and fertility. You can bring this tradition to today’s modern wedding with a pretty basket of lavender, or a small bouquet of wheat. OR, have a dainty lavender and wheat circlet made for your flower girl to wear on her head. Mix in a bit of baby’s breath to give a natural organic feel to her ensemble.

Closeup of embroidery on our little flower girls Sweet Pea dress

Dainty embroidery is perfect for a flower girls ensemble

This fits in well with pretty cotton girl’s dresses from Jacaranda Living. Detailed with dainty embroidered daisies and butterflies, your little flower girl will be sweet for the ceremony and look darling in group photos or candid shots.

Perfect for DIY Brides and Bridesmaids

If you’re a crafty bride or have a friend who loves to create, consider the step-by-step directions providing by A Practical Wedding and create your own floral crown for the flower girl in your wedding party. Just make sure its sturdy enough to withstand an active little girl enjoying the day.

Involving Younger Bridal Party Members

When it comes to weddings, traditional bachelorette parties, and bridal party getaway weekends may not be appropriate for flower girls or junior bridesmaids, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a part of the pre-wedding celebration.

Consider including them in pre-wedding spa appointments. Manicures, pedicures, and maybe a little cosmetic bag gift with lip balm, tissues, and scented hand cream would make your big day a day they remember for a very long time.

Cotton cosmetic bag with our bee embroidery is perfect for the flower girls in your wedding.

The perfect gift for a flower girl or junior bridesmaid

Alternative Ideas for Flower Girls

Not sure you like the idea of a Flower girl throwing petals, and carrying a basket? A Style of Living suggests these alternatives:

Balloons – For an outdoor wedding helium filled heart shaped balloons could be very pretty. Just make certain to tie them tightly to tiny wrists so they don’t blow away.

Bubbles – As a change of pace, have flower girls blow bubbles, with fun themed bubble wands. These are very cute for photos and video.

Lacy parasol –  These can be very sweet for an outdoor summer wedding. Consider matching fabrics to gowns, or contrast to give the bridal party a bit of a color splash. The bride and bridesmaids may even want one for photos!

Pets – Including your pet in the wedding party? Consider having a flower girl walk the pet down the aisle in a covered leash.

Floral Garlands – If you’re having multiple flower girls, or a combination of flower girls and junior bridesmaid, they can carry pretty floral garlands.

Bouquet of Individual Flowers – These can be handed out to guests as she walks down the aisle.

Herb/Flower Decorated Lantern – Beautiful for a candlelit wedding. You can use battery-operated tealight candles to keep everyone safe!

Your wedding should be as unique as you are. Every member of the bridal party, even the smallest will play a part in making that happen. Jacaranda Living offers dainty embroidered dresses and sweet cotton embroidered pant sets for little girls. They’re the perfect way to dress up a young child in comfort and elegance.

cute embroidered pant set for little girls

Cute embroidered pant set. Perfect for a country wedding.

Sources

https://www.theknot.com/content/flower-girl-duties-in-detail

https://apracticalwedding.com/how-to-make-a-floral-crown-for-wedding/

http://brasspaperclip.typepad.com/brass_paperclip/2010/04/wedding-history-101-flower-girl-customs-traditions.html

http://astyleofliving.com/2014/08/20-ideas-accessorises-flowergirls-can-carry-aisle.html

 

 

 

 

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Packing Tips for a Quick Business Trip

Tis the season for trade shows and business trips. Are you a packing tips pro? If not, these packing tips may be just what you’re looking for!

Packing Tips – The Essentials

Websites abound that provide a list of packing tips and essentials. Scan through and you’ll find that most contain the same information. The following list inspired by Travel Fashion Girl’s site is a good starting point.

  • Ziploc bags – For dirty or wet items, medications, cosmetics and so much more. Jacaranda Living’s cute lingerie and cosmetic bags are classier than plastic bags, and make finding and organizing your essentials
  • Survival kit – Lip balm, ear plugs, eye drops, moisturizer and hand sanitizer. Fit great in our small Cosmetic bag to throw in a backpack for easy access.
  • A scarf/shawl –to cover up when its cold or you’re traveling to a more conservative destination, or dress up a basic outfit.
  • Small Purse – The large bag is great at home, but less is more for business travel. A small purse works for dinner meetings, evenings out, and makes finding important items, like IDs, cash, cards, etc. much easier.
  • Phone charger –There’s nothing worse than getting stuck without your phone!

As About Travel states, you want to “travel lightly – and look good doing it!”

Cosmetic bags to help you get organized

Packing tips include cosmetic bags

Quick and easy travel wardrobe

So how do you fit all the clothing needed for a three day business trip into one carryon? IN a list of packing tips, your first task is to select the perfect bag! Jacaranda Living offers some great choices in our Rosehip collection, including both our weekender bag, and the sling bag! Travelista recommends the following:

Travel Wear
  • Jeans – If okay for business travel, a nice pair of skinny jeans (or straight cut/trouser cut) work well with ballet flats or tucked into a sturdy pair of nice boots. Wear them on your travel day to avoid carrying/packing bulky items.
  • Drapey overshirt/tee –Provides coverage when you’re bending, stretching and crawling over the guy who’s sitting in the aisle seat. It also layers great under a sweater or jacket, and can be dressed up with a scarf!
  • Jacket/Sweater – Find something comfortable and light enough to wear for warmer weather, but also something that can give a casual look a bit more polish. Select a neutral color like black, navy, grey or tan.
  • Scarf – A definite must for travel. It’s the one item you’ll always use: as a pool cover up, additional coverage in countries where shoulders, heads, or other body parts must be covered. It can also double as a picnic blanket, or a dressy shawl for a night out. Select a pattern and color that go with the rest of your minimized wardrobe. Hint, hint, you should have a color palette and try to make all pieces you pack work together!
  • Shoes – The lighter the better, but don’t pack too many. If you’re doing a lot of walking, go with something comfortable and supportive. But consider wearing them on travel day, rather than packing them. Don’t forget a dressy look if you’re going out, but if you’ll be on your feet all day skip the stilettos!

Travel day can turn into travel night in a heartbeat if planes get cancelled or delayed. Wearing clothing that can do double duty on your way to your destination is always a good idea.

Pretty cosmetic bags to keep your essentials organized

Coordinated linen cosmetic bags

The best way to pack wisely for a quick business trip is to know what you’ll be doing, and select clothing that falls into a color palette that works together. Then choose clothing that does double duty. Wear bulky or heavy items, and stay away from items that wrinkle easily, or won’t stand up to a full day of wear.

Don’t forget medications, and personal items, and if you travel frequently consider keeping essentials packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. It takes the stress out of last minute packing, and forgetting important items. Having everything packed ahead of time gives you the time you need to prepare work related items, papers, and technology so when you arrive at your destination you’ll be ready to go!

Packing Tip! Jacaranda Living offers a variety of cosmetic bags, sling bags, and weekender bags that are perfect for a quick business trip, and add style to your business look.

 

Sources

http://travelfashiongirl.com/60-travel-packing-tips-from-the-experts/

http://businesstravel.about.com/od/luggageandpackingtips/tp/essentials_for_women.htm

http://travelista.com/packing/foolproof-travel-outfit/

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Thread Counts, What Do Those Numbers Mean?

These days we see thread counts noted everywhere, even on hotel advertisements! Egyptian cotton sheets sound luxurious, and does it really matter if your sheet has a lower count, or is a poly blend? Read on to find out more about thread count.

a bed made with high quality thread count sheets

Elegant respite after a long day

Thread Count Involves Federal Standards!

According to Home & Garden’s HowStuffWorks, “thread count means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. You count both lengthwise (war) and widthwise (weft) threads. So why would a higher count be considered “better?” Because the finer the thread, the more you can fit into that one inch space.  But how high can those counts go, and at what point does it become a marketing ploy and not really something you can feel?

 

A 400 Thread Count is the Sweet Spot

Consumer Reports explains, once a manufacturer starts listing thread counts of 600, 800 or even 1,000, its actually misleading. Using thinner and thinner strands, threads are twisted together to make a single thread but allowing for “double, triple or even quadruple the thread count.” That doesn’t mean it’s a better sheet, but it certainly seems to mean the higher price is accepted by many. Don’t get fooled. In tests done by Consumer Reports, the sheet that scored the highest was only 280! It maintained its size and fit. The difference is in the fabric itself.

Percale, Sateen, Egyptian, Pima, What Does it All Mean?

The top three choices for cotton are Pima, Egyptian and Combed. Make sure you know what you’re buying, and purchase based on your personal preference. Sateen provides a soft sheet. Percale provides those crisp cotton sheets we hear about. And remember, cotton sheets are usually treated to make them feel softer in the store. Don’t be surprised if a sheet feels differently after it’s been washed. As a matter of fact, it’s a good idea to wash sheets before using them the first time. And if you don’t like how they feel after that first wash, return them.

Beautiful embroidered bed linens

200 – 400 Thread Count Is Quality

Cotton Primer

  • Combed Cotton – cotton that has had short fibers and impurities removed
  • Egyptian Cotton – Grown in Egypt and of amazing quality due to the long growing season there
  • Flannel – Usually a blend of different cottons
  • Italian Linen – luxurious cotton grown in Egypt and manufactured in Italy
  • Muslin – rough, lower count cotton used many times for children’s sheets
  • Percale – a mix of combed and close-woven cloth. May be cotton/poly blend or 100% cotton, known for its crisp feel
  • Pima – Grown in Peru, Australia, or Arizona

How Long Will Good Sheets Last?

Sheet counts under 200 will not last long, and will probably feel coarse to the touch. According to Sleepdex, if you hold a 160 thread count sheet up to the light with this low count level, you will be able to see through the threads. At 180 you’ll have a decent quality and can expect three to four years of usage. Between 200 and 400 count, you’ll get an additional two years or so if you change out sheets regularly. In fact, 400 is the sweet spot for thread counts with sheets. At Jacaranda Living we offer a choice of thread counts, 200 – 400, which are the softest and best quality 100% Cotton.  Our fitted sheets fit up to 18” deep mattresses, and also come in a 200 or 400 thread count option.

Buy Quality Sheets and Save Money

If you’re considering new sheets, and want quality that will last, select 100% cotton sheets with a thread count between 200 and 400. These sheets will last longer, and give you the feel seek for a great night’s sleep. We offer a wide selection of embroidery options and sheet sizes from Twin to Queen to King, including fitted and flat sheets.

embroidered pillow cases

Fluffy pillows welcome rest

Sources

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-decor/bedroom/thread-count.htm

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/09/higher-thread-count-doesn-t-guarantee-better-sheets/index.htm

http://www.sleepdex.org/sheets.htm

 

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New Year’s Resolutions – Renew You with a Home Spa

A Home Spa – Incentive to Stick to Those Resolutions

The big new year’s celebration is over, and for some those resolutions have already been forgotten, but for many a resolution to get healthier is a very real, and very attainable goal. If you’ve vowed to run more, walk regularly or renew that gym membership and really use it, read on! Consider creating a home spa to relax and rejuvenate after your workout. It’s a definite motivator, and It’s easy with these 4 simple steps!

Create a Home Spa Environment

When you go to the spa, what do you notice first? The scent of eucalyptus? The soothing music? The soft, fluffy towels? These are easy to recreate in your home spa!

create a home spa

Create a home spa you’ll look forward to coming home to

Spa Scents Made Easy

From aromatherapy candles, to essential oils and room sprays, the scent of a spa is an immediate signal to your brain that its time to relax and revitalize. ScratchMommy recommends the following to ease you into a relaxed state of mind:

  • Jasmine, rose, chamomile, or ylang-ylang for frustrations with loved ones
  • Citrus, lavender, sandalwood or sage if dark days have you feeling down.
  • Oregano, peppermint, eucalyptus, pine or rosemary can help with a stuffy head
scented candles for relaxation

Scented candles bring a relaxing glow

ScratchMommy also has a great candle recipe using beeswax or soy to create a soothing scent to turn your bath into a sweet space to rediscover your sanity.

Music to Relax and Inspire

Relaxing in a warm bath with soft music in the background is a great way to end a busy day, or soak away tightness in tired muscles. Kohler has some great tips for adding music to your bathroom to help create that spa environment. The Moxie Showerhead and wireless speaker is an easy addition to make your favorite music a part of your Home Spa. The speaker just pops into the showerhead, and is interchangeable so each family member can have their own.

Or if you’re into a bit more immersive experience, consider the VibrAcoustic Hydrotherapy system which works with your smartphone, tablet or MP3 player to send vibrations pulsing above and below the waterline!

Look for appropriate spa music on iTunes, Pandora, or even your Amazon Echo Dot and you’ll be ready to sit back and relax.

Fluffy Towels, Robes, and Slippers Complete the Sensory Experience of a Home Spa

We can’t forget the luxurious feeling of fluffy towels for drying, slipping your feet into linen slippers and wrapping yourself in a luxurious robe after your home spa experience. Quality cotton like that used in products offered by Jacaranda Living can give you that spa at home feeling every day!

Generous bath sheets – 35” x 70” are large enough to wrap you up after a hot shower, or a warm bubble bath. Choose from white or ivory to give that clean, uncluttered spa look to a bathroom. If you want to give your home spa a personal touch, why not choose embroidered designs drawn from the sea, or our popular Bee Wreath design.

Sweet Accessories Amp Up the Home Spa Feeling

Looking to really transform your bath to give it that home spa feeling? Consider adding a fluffy terry robe, an elegant shower curtain, and even slippers and a shower cap all embroidered with the same design. With 100% cotton, you’ll have the soft, super absorbent accessories you love at the spa, right in your own home! What a great way to reward yourself after a long run, or a yoga class. It’ll keep you on track and be an incentive to continue to treat yourself throughout the year. Why not? You deserve it!

Pure cotton, embroidery and fine details make your home spa an oasis

Quality cotton, delicate embroidery and attention to detail create the perfect home spa

A Few Additional Touches

With just a few more simple touches, your bath will really stand out as a home spa! Add fresh cut flowers in a pretty vase to a small table in the bath. Consider adding a dimmer switch to your bathroom lighting. Add a small table for candles, a favorite book, hand-made sugar scrubs, or a glass of wine. With just a few simple steps your family bathroom becomes a home spa you’ll look forward to using every day!

Resources

www.popsugar.com

www.scratchmommy.com

ideas.kohler.com

Enjoy your Home Spa and Happy New Year from Jacaranda Living!

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Why Do Babies Wear Hats?

Are Baby Hats a Must for a New Baby?

Baby hat embroidered with yellow ducks!

Any baby looks sweeter with baby ducks along for the ride. When it’s cold outside, hats on everyone is a must to keep stay warm. Significant body warmth is lost through the head when you’re outside on a freezing wintery day. But why is it that newborns wear a baby hat at the hospital? They don’t go outside! And you may also wonder, is it necessary for them to wear hats all the time? This article will make you realize it’s not always necessary.

Newborns wear baby hats for a reason

According to BabyCenter, babies are given a hat immediately after birth because they’ve just come from a warm, moist place and let’s face it, the hospital can be a relatively chilly one! But once they’ve acclimatized to their environment, and certainly when they leave the hospital, a hat isn’t as necessary. Except for looking cute! “’Healthy, full-term infants don’t need to wear a cap once they get home,” says Howard Reinstein, a pediatrician in Encino, California, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.’ But there is a reason you may want to skip the hat initially and just enjoy your first few minutes together undisturbed, skin-to-skin, enjoying a special time that will never come again.

Skin-to-Skin Bonding is a Reason to Skip the Baby Hat

You know that new baby smell that everyone loves? Well, it helps mothers and babies bond. That smell triggers certain bonding responses in a new mother’s brain. When the mother smells her baby’s scent, that new baby smell very specific to her own child, it triggers a big boost of oxytocin which speeds along the birth process itself. Covering up the infant’s head with a baby hat can change that effect in the first hour or so after birth.

Just let your doctor or midwife know you’d prefer to practice skin-to-skin bonding right after the birth. Your baby will be able to stay warm snuggled up close, and as long as there have been no complications, everyone should be safe and happy. In addition, as further explained by BabyBelly.com, when you are practicing that skin-to-skin contact right after the birth, a hat isn’t needed because the mother’s body warmth will keep the baby’s body warmth regulated. So enjoy those first few moments. There is plenty of time after you get to know each other to don those sweet little hats.

Sweet newborn baby hat with embroidered sheep

A baby hat for the trip home

Dress Your Baby in Layers

Once your baby is ready to come home, it’s a good idea to dress them in layers so they can stay warm but you can easily remove a layer or add a layer to assist them in staying comfortable.

Baby hats, onesies, booties, and pillows

A beautiful set for baby with sweet embroidered details

If the ambient temperature is below 80 degrees, a hat is a good idea. It’s also a great way to prevent sunburn. But how do you know if baby is too hot? OurEverydayLife recommends you check baby’s hands, feet or back. If they feel cold, add a layer of clothing, a warmer hat, or just a blanket.

Gifts for the Winter Baby

A winter baby can enjoy the luxury of multiple hats, head bands, knitted, crocheted, and soft cotton items to build a truly personal wardrobe. If you’re welcoming a new baby into your home or family this winter, why not choose a variety of colors, textures, and patterns of hats, bibs, and blankets to make the new little one feel welcome?

It’s best to stay away from wool, but cotton, terry, acrylic and linen are perfect. They’re all washable, comfortable and perfect for layering.

embroidered pillows, baby hats, quilts and more

A bundle of gifts including items from Jacaranda Living for the newest member of the family

Add onesies in both newborn and larger sizes because little ones grow up fast and come Spring and Summer, additional larger pieces will be a welcome addition to the wardrobe.

Jacaranda Living has beautiful, washable, embroidered baby hats, onesies, blankets and booties to keep your baby comfortable, safe and looking sweet all year round.

Sources

http://www.babycenter.com/404_when-can-my-baby-stop-wearing-those-infant-hats_1368473.bc

http://oureverydaylife.com/newborn-need-hat-11369.html

http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby/no-hats-on-newborn-babies/

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00597/full

 

 

 

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Handmade vs. Custom Made – Gifts for the Holidays to Show You Care

Not everyone is a gifted crafter. Not everyone can bake, or has the time to make embroidered gifts. Sure, we love to receive homemade fudge, or a beautiful knitted sweater or afghan, but these days most people have a tough time finding the time to wrap gifts, let alone make unique items for family and friends.

But if you’re a crafter, and there are definitely a lot of you out there, Jacaranda Living has some great embroidered gift items or blank items to be embroidered that will fit right in with your desire to give something special to those you love. Think it’s too late? Not really.

Embroidered or hand painted items can be beautiful as gifts. Time may be running out to give a completed item by Christmas or Hannukah, but you can order the item and provide your recipient with a picture of the finished product. Then let them know you’ll be working hard during the winter to create their gift.

Embroidered Gifts are Unique and Beautiful

Whether you’re embroidering a cosmetic bag for a friend, or a tissue box for a co-worker, or a pair of slippers for a favorite aunt, Jacaranda Living has a variety of blank pieces ready to embroider that will work perfectly.

large cotton cosmetic bag

large cosmetic bag ready for your embroidery or painting

Not sure where to find the unique patterns that will make your gift the one they treasure? Consider Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread blog. She’s got great ideas for a variety of designs and even shows you how to use coloring books for inspiration. With so many coloring books out there for adults, you may even be able to ask the person you’re making something for to share their favorite design and you can turn it into an embroidered piece!

Fabric Painting Can Create a Custom Gift to Treasure

If you like painting, why not try fabric painting to create a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special? Look for videos on YouTube that show how to paint flowers, and other designs on bed sheets, scarves, and tablecloths. Jacaranda Living has quality cotton napkins, robes, and pillow cases that would work well for this type of project.

Cotton Dinner Napkins Ready for Embroidery

The Perfect Cotton Dinner Napkin

Just search for “one stroke painting” on YouTube to find a wide variety of projects from easy to complex.

Not All of Us are Artistic – Some Ideas for Embroidered Gifts

Not the type to sit and embroider or paint? Don’t worry, Jacaranda Living can still be your path to giving a unique, embroidered gift to treasure for years to come. From baby gifts to bed linens to ladies’ nightgowns and dresses for the little girls in your life, we’ve got a range of embroidered and monogrammed items made of high quality cotton

a full range of baby items

A beautiful set for baby with sweet embroidered details

and linen, enhanced with lace and fine details that show how much you care.

Consider a pretty set for the littlest member of your family, perhaps booties, a hat, a bib and a onesie all embroidered with little sheep.

 

Maybe a sweet cotton springtime dress for a young lady with a love of elephants.

little girls dress with pink elephants

Pretty white dress embroidered with pink elephants

Who doesn’t love a cool cotton boudoir pillow and you can have it embroidered with a wide selection of designs including this pretty Nantucket basket of flowers.

Embroidered pillows with multiple design options

Pretty Boudoir Pillow with flower-filled Nantucket Basket Embroidery

Or put together a picnic basket of goodies featuring these fun lobster embroidered cocktail napkins that would be a hit with anyone who likes to plan an outing with just a bit more flair than the usual.

embroidered cocktail napkins - lobster design

Lobster embroidered cocktail napkins, the perfect picnic accent

Embroidered linens and handmade gifts show you’ve thought about the person you’re giving to. Whether the gift is something you’ve created, or something you’ve had created just for them. If you’re shopping for gifts and want something personal, consider Jacaranda Living. We’ve got gifts that show people how much you care.

 

 

 

Sources

http://www.jacarandaliving.com/linen-for-monogrammers.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CpX9s-sRSI

http://www.needlenthread.com/

 

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Three Quick Tips for the Best Holiday Cocktail Party Ever

It’s the season for parties. But with so much to do, and time running out, it’s easiest to keep things simple! Planning a quick cocktail party for friends, neighbors, or people at the office can be the best way to connect, catch up, and still have time for all the other things that seem to pop up on your calendar at this time of year.

Holiday Cocktail Party Decorating

If you’re going to take the time to have a party, make it memorable. Assuming your home or apartment needs only a simple dust and clear up, let’s look at decorations.

No need to set up a tree if that’s not part of your plans. A centerpiece of greens, colorful ornaments, and a few candles, collected into a large glass vase can look beautiful. Midwest Living features a beautiful Cranberry Candles centerpiece that combines all of the above displayed in a simple tray you may have lying around just waiting for it’s moment to shine.

Candy cane vase for your cocktail party

Beautiful vase of candy canes hold holiday inspired flowers for your holiday cocktail party

Spicy Mexican Hot Cocoa

Spicy Mexican Hot Cocoa is a signature drink that can warm up your cocktail party!

Other options include displaying ornaments in family heirloom bowls or platters, creating flower or candle holders from holiday candy favorites, and filling jars with colorful beads and dried herbs. Make the centerpiece reflective of your own style, and that of your guests. They’ll feel right at home.

Holiday Cocktail Party Recipes

Cookie exchanges and complicated appetizers area great if you’ve got nothing but time on your hands, but if you’re working full-time, trying to get around to all the office parties, and fit in time for shopping and visiting family, you may be looking for far simpler fare. Why not feature healthy appetizers at your cocktail party to counteract all the sweets and heavier foods most parties feature. FoodNetwork.com has some great ones including greek yogurt dip, hot crab dip, and even a light version of guacamole that may surprise you.

Also consider a signature beverage to cut down on liquor costs, and keep things simple. Why not offer a warming Mexican Hot Cocoa like the one from Epicurious. Made with chocolate liqueur and ancho chili powder, it’ll tantalize, and can be made ahead and kept warm on the stove, sending out the scent of cinnamon, chocolate and and chile! For those who want something cold, fill a cooler with bottles of red and white wine, some hard cider, or seasonal beers, and your cocktail party will be ready to go!

Don’t Forget Cocktail Party Essentials

So now comes the important parts of party planning. How much do you need and what should you have on hand? To show your guests you really care, consider skipping the plastic glassware, and plastic cutlery, and going for glass and real silverware. There are multiple sources for inexpensive but nice glassware, dishes, and cutlery. From boxstores to online restaurant supply stores, you’ll have your choice. Order extra to allow for breakage. You’ll enjoy yourself so much more, and matching, simple glassware can make clean up a whole lot easier as well.

Waffle-Towels-DG08-Christmas-Wreath

Make sure your guest powder room gets into the cocktail party spirit too.

Use a runner rather than a tablecloth for buffets and tables. And purchase cloth cocktail napkins that can be used year after year. Jacaranda Living offers a beautiful range of embroidered cocktail and dinner napkins perfect for a small party, or a large formal dinner.

As an added way to show your guests you care, don’t forget the powder room. Simple things like scented candles, pretty guest towels, and fancy soaps, or holiday scented hand wash add a nice touch. It can make your cocktail party stand out, and be the one your friends look forward to next year.

Sources

http://www.midwestliving.com/homes/seasonal-decorating/easy-christmas-centerpiece-ideas/

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mexican-hot-cocoa-241138

http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy/packages/healthy-every-week/healthy-appetizer-recipes/healthy-appetizer-recipes.html

 

 

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