Children’s Photos – How to Capture That Great Shot

Spring is the perfect time to get outside and take some photos. Children’s photos are always a challenge, but always fun, whether it’s a wedding, a party, or just a daytrip with everyone in tow, family photos capture today are treasured for a lifetime. To capture the moment in a way that truly reflects the beauty and warmth of the day, try these simple tips.

Family Photo Frames
Capture the color of your family

Children’s Photos – Kids Will be Kids

Is your idea of the perfect childrens’ photo all the children in your family lined up and sitting still? That’s not really representative of kids today. You’re going to get frustrated, and so are they. Also, you won’t be capturing the true essence of the children. With everyone carrying a smart phone these days, make sure yours is in hand and prepare to capture a candid shot when the moment arises; at the beach, in the yard, or at a game. Sunlight is the best lighting to capture true colors and real smiles.

At a wedding? Consider grouping children together in a common activity, eating cake, dancing, a sweet circle around the bride? Green Child Magazine recommends “avoid harsh sun by seeking shade, and shoot when the sun is lower in the sky.” Make sure the light is behind you and snap away while letting them be who they are. Be creative on angles, closeups, and know that if you get one or two really great shots, you’ve captured a time to remember.

Planning Children’s Photos – Clothing Does Matter

Sure you’ve seen professional portraits of families at the beach with everyone wearing the same color, holding hands, jumping in the air. You can capture the same magic in a family photo with a bit of planning, but consider your goal. You could dress everyone in shades of white or blue. Perhaps adults in jeans and white shirts, and little ones in summer white cotton. Jacaranda Living’s short sets and embroidered dresses are a great option for the youngest members of the household.

Great Kids Photo Outfit
A Cute Outfit for a Spring Day

Sweet outfits for the look of a summer breeze that goes perfectly at the beach, a sunny field, or playing at home. ClickItUpaNotch recommends choosing coordinating colors, not strict matching. Will photos be displayed in a living room? A hallway or staircase? Consider where photos will be displayed and use colors that go with that area. Using props, or matching hats, or other fun items can tie a photo together. Other fun ideas:

  • Everyone eating ice cream cones
  • Men/boys wearing the same hats
  • Women and girls carrying oversized flowers
  • Gather the family on a favorite blanket

Make it fun, make it unique, and don’t try to script the event.

Shorts Outfit for boys
Remember, with children’s photos, let kids be kids

Just take photos of your family and loved ones in all their imperfect and beautiful glory.

The End Result – Photo Editing So Everyone Looks Good

That’s the point of a family photo after all, capturing everyone at their true best. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, if you’re capturing family photos you want to be able to edit them. iPhone Photography School lists Snapseed, VSCO, and Filterstorm Neue as the top three editing tools. AndroidPIT includes Pixlr, Snapseed, and SKWRT among their top apps. There are many out there so don’t get discouraged. Look for the app that works for you.

Most phones come with their own editing capabilities, so even just learning how those work can provide some amazing results. Make sure to download your photos rather than leaving them in your phone. Or upload them to the cloud so you don’t find yourself losing them when you get a new phone. Don’t forget to take advantage of the many digital services available to create not only framed pictures but t-shirts, coffee mugs, and many other great gifts that family and friends will enjoy.

Embroidered cotton dresses and short sets from Jacaranda Living are the perfect wardrobe for children’s photos at weddings, special occasions, or just a warm day at the beach. Why not set aside a day to capture your own family in pictures they’ll treasure?

Girls Cotton Dresses
Capture the moment as it happens
Sources

http://www.greenchildmagazine.com/how-to-capture-great-images-of-your-child/

https://iphonephotographyschool.com/best-photo-editing-apps/

http://clickitupanotch.com/2013/10/what-to-wear-in-family-photos-5/

https://www.androidpit.com/best-android-photo-editing-apps

 

 

 

 

Spring Decorating Tips – Welcome Spring!

When the air is fresh and snow has melted we’re anxious to welcome all that is new and fresh into our homes. Spring cleaning is a not so popular chore at this time of year, but a bit of spring decorating can bring some fun into the tasks at hand!

DIY Cleaning Solutions

While only a few of us truly enjoy cleaning windows, we all love to look out on a bright sunny day. This recipe from SheWearsManyHats guarantees an easy and simple method for cleaning away the filmy residue left after a winter of stormy nights and hazy days.

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dish detergent

If you’re filling a bucket just multiply the ingredients appropriately. Then using a soft scrub brush, dip the brush into the solution and scrub the window. Do a few windows, but be sure to spray off the window before the solution has had a chance to dry. Obviously this is for windows outside the house! On the inside, using a scratch-free scrubber, dip the sponge into the solution, scrub the window, and with a clean bucket of water and sponge, rinse! Consider filling a spray bottle with the solution and using sponges to rinse. But be certain to rinse completely before it dries or you’ll just be adding more residue!

Spring Finger Towels and Tissue Cover
Delicate Springtime Bath Accessories

Then, when your windows are clean and sparkling, why not add some delicate touches indoors like our pretty herbal embroidered tissue box covers, or a new shower curtain to give a bath a beautiful springtime look? Or consider a few new delicately embroidered toss pillows for the master bedroom.

Springtime Shower Curtain
Fresh new look for any bathroom

Mattress Care

Airing out mattresses isn’t something we consider all year round, but it’s a good idea to check your mattress in spring and consider a new set if yours is 10 years or older. New technologies and mattress construction have done away with the need to flip mattresses, but many still need to be rotated, especially if you see a sag. If you’ve got a box spring underneath, that should also be rotated.

According to mattress.com, vacuuming your mattress is another step in keeping your mattress healthy and happy. If you feel the mattress has a musty smell (maybe with cottage bedding that has been closed up all winter) sprinkle baking soda across the surface. Let it sit 20 minutes, then vacuum. To give your bed a new, fresh feel, consider pretty, embroidered sheets and pillow cases from Jacaranda Living. Our embroidery patterns include starfish, seashell baskets, seahorses and more designs that represent summer and a life of relaxation. Many stores tout 800 thread count and higher as the best, do you know the perfect thread count? Our blog article explains it all and you’ll be happy to see that our sheets offer the highest rated thread count!

Spring Fresh Bedding
Fresh as Spring – New Bedding

Don’t Forget the Guest Room!

One of the rooms in the house that frequently gets overlooked is the guest room, and especially the guest bath. It doesn’t get used much, but just a few simple steps can give a feeling of springtime brightness. Homedit.com recommends spending time to make a guest bathroom welcoming. Many people decorate a guest bath to suit their own tastes, or choose items that are bland and inexpensive, but then find that they’re replacing items before they’ve even been used much. Homedit suggests choosing neutral colors and not skimping on accessories. Fit it out with soaps, tissues, towels and all to make your guest feel welcome, and comfortable. Our selection of embroidered towels, and tissue boxes are the perfect accent to an elegant and special guest bathroom.

Spring themed bath accessories
Bring Springtime into the bath

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be something you dread. Rather than the chore that no one notices, give your home a cleaning AND makeover. Your guests, your family and you will enjoy the change.

Sources

https://shewearsmanyhats.com/the-best-window-cleaner/

https://www.mattress.com/mattress-care.html

http://www.homedit.com/guest-bathroom-decorating-ideas/

 

 

Starting a Tooth Fairy Tradition with Pillows from Jacaranda Living

The Tooth Fairy Tradition is probably the only tradition that actually has TWO national days to recognize it. According to holidayinsights.com,  It’s celebrated on either February 28th, or August 22nd. If you’ve got a little one in the house who is getting to that age when teeth are starting to loosen and big girl or big boy teeth are coming in, why not start a Tooth Fairy tradition in your household?

Pretty embroidered tooth fairy pillow
Tooth Fairy Pillows fit every decor

Why a Tooth Fairy?

While it may seem old news to you, losing a tooth is a new experience. It seems like an every day thing to you, but whether a tooth falls out naturally, or gets yanked out by a string and a door knob, or it some other speedy arrangement it’s a big event that first time. Holding a tooth in your hand that was once in your mouth can be thrilling and scary. There’s blood, there’s a bit of pain, and everyone knows its happening. And if it’s a front tooth, it can be embarrassing for some children to suddenly find themselves struggling to speak clearly. They may even have friends laughing at them.

Introducing the Tooth Fairy! She rewards the child for their tooth, always knows the tooth has come out regardless of whether it’s lost or not, and adds excitement around part of growing up. Wouldn’t we all like a magic fairy to come along when growing older brings that first wrinkle or first grey hair?

Little girl waiting for tooth fairy
A Joyful Smile

How Much Does a Tooth Go For These Days?

In the US, children receive cash for their teeth. The treasured tooth is tucked under a pillow at night and in the morning the tooth is gone and money is left behind. To make it extra special, why not give your little one a special Tooth Fairy pillow from Jacaranda? It comes complete with a tooth pocket to tuck that newly lost tooth in so it doesn’t get lost during the night. It’s also easier to slip a surprise into the pocket before morning comes! And the pillow is a nice addition to any child’s bedroom decor!

You may be asking yourself though, how much do you pay per tooth? According to mentalfloss.com the average was $3.70 per tooth  back in 2013. Inflation does show a jump year over year, with cbsnews.com stating that some years the jump can be as much as 23%! Why? Well, kids talk, and it seems there is comparison on what is received. No one wants their kids to be the lowest paid. If you’re not sure what to give, and want a comparison, ask the parents in your area. But if it doesn’t matter to you, pay what you feel is right, or consider a totally different tradition. Perhaps a new book, or a new character inspired toothbrush and toothpaste. But if you’ve got multiple teeth falling, that can get just as expensive if not more.

Pillow featuring tooth fairy embroidery
A cute tooth fairy tribute!

Tooth Fairy Traditions Around the World

You can also draw on traditions from around the world. In many Hispanic countries children are visited by Ratoncito Perez, a little mouse who collects teeth from under a pillow or even left in a glass of water! He leaves behind gifts or money. In South Africa, teeth are left in the child’s slippers. And in Asian countries like India, China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, children throw lost teeth up onto the roof or under or onto the floor and make a wish.

Tooth Fairy Pillows
Cute Tooth Fairy Pillow Designs Perfect for Girls and Boys!

Tooth Fairy Traditions That Can Be Passed Down

Whatever you decide, it’s nice to have some traditions that can be passed down. Jacaranda Living offers pretty Tooth Fairy Pillows that are perfect to recognize that first lost tooth, and provide a place to snuggle the teeth that will certainly follow. You can give each child with their own pillow, or pass the pillow on from child to child. Consequently, once children grow up, they can pass on their own personal pillow to their own children. When those little ones are old enough, they’ll enjoy hearing stories of when their parents were young and going through the same experience. Having a tradition to hold on to and share with future generations is part of making a childhood to remember. Why not build the Tooth Fairy Tradition into your own child’s life?

Sources

http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/February/toothfairyday.htm

http://mentalfloss.com/article/58503/7-tooth-fairy-traditions-around-world

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tooth-fairy-inflation-flies-high/

 

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

 

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/

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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/

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

 

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!