First things first: this is a sponsored post. I didn’t get paid for what I’m about to share with you, but I did receive a gift certificate to purchase some clothes for my kids. Now, hopefully you know me well enough to believe that I wouldn’t recommend a business to you if I didn’t sincerely like them, but just so everything’s understood: I got some free shit. Well, the boys did. As if they appreciate it, the jelly-smearing ingrates.

So, have you heard of Tea? They seem like a very cool little company with a unique approach to children’s wear. Apparently each year their designers visit a different part of the world to find inspiration for a particular collection, so they end up creating kids’ clothes that evoke things like street graffiti in Barcelona and vintage Mexican coffee bags. In fact, everyone at Tea receives an annual allowance to use toward international travel, which is a little factoid that makes me like them even more and may or may not have caused me to eyeball their Careers page. (Damn you, lack of marketable skills!)

Tea sounds like a groovy workplace and all that, but what I really like is their clothes. I suspect parents of girls have a much easier time finding attractive outfits for their kids than I do, because I sure notice a lot of cute girl stuff when I’m poking around Target or Old Navy or wherever, but I swear that once your boy is out of the young toddler stage clothes really start to suck. Hard. I mean, okay, Riley loves all those awful merchandising tie-in shirts festooned with LEGO Star Wars Spiderman Looney Tunes Etc, and both my kids are perfectly fine with the ugly-colored sports-themed crap, but sometimes I just want to dress them in something that doesn’t make them look like that scene from Pulp Fiction. You know the one.

Screen shot 2011-07-28 at 9.51.44 PM

“Dorks. They look like a couple of dorks.”

Which is why I kind of fell in love with the Tea Collection boys clothes. Their girls’ outfits are quite nice as well, but can I get an amen for boyswear that not only isn’t hideous, it’s downright awesome? Plus, the prices are very decent—most of the shirts I picked out were around $13.00 or so.

Here’s Riley modeling a few of his new shirts:




I think his favorite is the orange diving tee, but mine is definitely the blue hoodie.


Dylan was less interested in being photographed, but here he’s sporting his new HORSE! shirt.



Hello, could this be more perfect for him? (I also got him this layered tee, because BULLSHIRT!)

Cute designs, seem like good quality, shipped in a timely manner, arrived in a nice package, placing a phone order was super easy and unusually pleasant, customer service was top notch. I am totally a new fan of Tea, and if you have kids to clothe I think you might like them too.

Tea would like to offer one of you lucky ducks a $75 gift certificate, so if you’d like a chance at the giveaway, go ahead and leave a comment (any comment is fine, just be sure and include your email address so I can get in touch if the random number thingamajigger picks you). I’ll post the winner . . . oh, let’s say by Monday morning, okay? The only bummer is that Tea doesn’t yet ship internationally (which is a bit ironic, don’t you think, Alanis?), so unfortunately this is limited to the U.S. for now.

Thanks for enduring all my clothing-related blather! I hope you have a great weekend coming up.

**Comments are now closed, and I’ll announce the winner in a separate post. Thanks for participating!**

“I feel like I’ve been let out of jail.” I can’t even count how many times I’ve said this to JB lately. It’s not quite the right sentiment, but it’s as close as I can get: I feel like the world has opened up lately. After over five years of parenting very young children, everything has just sort of . . . widened. Jesus, there’s air in here now.

I don’t mean to imply that six and three are the cakewalk ages or that we don’t have plenty of challenges ahead, but it’s only now that we have a little distance beyond the baby years that I am really understanding just how stifling and challenging that was. In all the obvious ways, but also in all the million little daily compromises that have to happen when you’re caring for little kids. How incredibly difficult it was on our marriage to have to shelve most of the things we liked to do together, to negotiate over who got some time to ourselves, to deal with all the inevitable resentments and pent-up frustrations and feelings of being trapped and occasional helpless thoughts of WHY DID WE DO THIS WHYYYYYY.

This summer has opened all kinds of doors for us, particularly in our travels together as a family, but also just in the relative ease of our day to day lives. It is not exactly a peaceful full-body massage accompanied by a soothing Enya soundtrack to be around our kids these days, but my god, it is NOTHING like it used to be.

Duh, right? Babies are, like, hard and stuff. I don’t know why I keep marveling over such an obvious sentiment, but every time we do something that used to be exhausting or impossible, I think about how lucky we are to have made it through those tough years. This is the good stuff right now. I could stay here for a long, long time.








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