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Posts Tagged ‘childhood memories’

Kristin with Her Favorite Lunchboxes

Kristin with Her Favorite Lunchboxes

Back to school…a time of pain (who wants to leave those lazy unscheduled days of summer!)  And a time of joy…the excitement of seeing friends, agonizing over the ‘first day of school outfit’, and the very exciting Back to School shopping trip! 

In my family, that Back to School shopping extravaganza never amounted to much since I was plagued with a mother who hated to shop, whereas I was one of the only ones in my family that lived to shop (I take after my dad I guess!).  Each year my mom would surrender to our “special day” of school shopping, making sure we hit the stores early and had a check list so there was no dilly-dallying.

Wade Going Back to Preschool

Wade Going Back to Preschool

I was always front and center, with list in hand, and at the top of my list every year was the all-important NEW LUNCH BOX!  Of course every year there was the ‘must have’ lunch box…depending on the year it might be The Avengers (Marvel), My Little Ponies (Hasbro) and the ultimate – New Kids On the Block (I LOVED Jordan!)  As the years passed these ‘fashionable’ lunch boxes morphed into ‘cooler’ Igloo Lunch Bags and finally the perennial brown paper bag.  I hung on to my favorites though I kept them hidden away so my friends wouldn’t see them when they’d come over to play.

I still have two of my ‘classic’ lunch boxes – The Avengers and My Little Ponies.  During college I even pulled them out and tried to be a trend setter by using them as a hand bag!  During this year’s Back-to-School period the lunchroom conversation turned to lunchbox memories, and I discovered that I am not the only one who held on to their treasured accessory!  Sarah brought in her Candyland lunchbox for our own version of ‘show and tell’ – gathering a gaggle of excited ‘girls’, anxious to revisit their childhood memories. Here are a few of our other staff’s favorites.

Lunchboxes
Although these characters of yesteryear have been relegated to the category of ‘vintage’ – the children of today are still eagerly looking forward to the first day of school…and proudly displaying that great new LUNCHBOX!  I can’t wait until I can share in this time-honored tradition! 

What was YOUR favorite lunchbox?   Come on…share!

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The sun is dipping lower in the sky and the nights grow just a bit cooler…do I see the hint of color in the leaves?  Fall is in the air!  With the fall season fast approaching there is excitement brewing here at le•top!  It’s Back to School!  Well, we do get excited about Fall fashions, but there is something else that stirs the senses – FOOTBALL RIVALRIES!  Yes, this cute and cuddly children’s clothing company is home to some serious fans – so while we are busy shipping our FABULOUS Varsity Blues collection to waiting retailers our football fanatics are ‘showing their colors!’  Since le•top is available in retailers across the United States we thought we would ask a few ‘fans’ here in the office where their loyalties lie.

Sarah and Diana in Their Jerseys

Sarah and Diana in Their Team Jerseys

Sarah, our le•top assistant designer loves her team!  Sarah, growing up in Montana, really had the freedom to choose any team in the country – they are not ‘next’ to anything!  She relates that her mom, a native of North Dakota has always favored their ‘neighbor’ – The Minnesota Vikings.  Her Dad went with the Chicago Bears – but Sarah had to break with the family and choose the Indianapolis Colts.  Why???  Peyton!  She fell in love with football when Peyton Manning hooked her with his ‘Hail Mary!’  Now she is here in the San Francisco Bay Area…Niners? Raiders?  She maintains “I’m a Colts fan for life!’

Diana, our customer service specialist extraordinaire, took at little different path to loyalty…She grew up in Los Angeles – a ‘city girl.’  The Raiders, based in LA during her childhood, gained Diana’s loyalty as she watched football with her older brother.  She followed football just because she idolized her brother, and football was the common bond. When Diana, a ‘Navy Brat’ moved to the Bay Area (her father was stationed at Treasure Island) found out that the Raiders were moving back to the Bay Area there was celebrating in her family!  She can’t wait until September…Go Raiders!

If you are “READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!” check out the le•top Varsity Blues collection – you fans and dads will love it!  And as for me…NINERS RULE!

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Kristin's Ready to Bake

Kristin's Ready to Bake

Baking…a fun activity with a built in reward!   Although I am not an expert cook I just LOVE to bake!  My mom always created ‘special time’ for the two of us by inviting me into the kitchen when she was cooking; and although I didn’t pick up on her cooking skills, I thankfully did pick up on her baking skills.  These were great bonding moments for us – mom would dress me up in my own little apron, and gave me the important job of letting me read from the cookbook and pour in the ingredients that she had carefully measured out:

Mom: “a teaspoon of salt”

Little Kristin: “like this mommy?”

Mom: “yes – very good!”

I think many people share similar memories in the kitchen with their mom.  Robyn, our Assistant Credit Manager here at le top, has a beautiful daughter – Kira.   (Kira has been a “le top baby” for a very, very long time!  The announcement of Kira’s upcoming birth came very soon after Robyn began working with us ten years ago!  She modeled clothes in our ads from the time she was a baby until she outgrew our sizes!)  Robyn and Kira were baking cupcakes (and building memories together) in the kitchen, and as usual Kira was “Chief Decorator.”  Robyn left the kitchen for a few moments and came back to find that Kira had made a present for her – a custom cupcake proudly exhibiting mommy’s company logo “le•top!”  Robyn was in awe at the quality and accuracy of the logo…she just had to take a picture to share with us!  We knew we had to pass on this work of art to our loyal bloggers, so…TAT  DAA!  We present Kira’s le•top cupcake masterpiece.

Kira's Surprise for Mom

Kira's Surprise for Mom

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bballfansI’ve finally realized how I came by my love and appreciation of professional sports of all kinds. As a little girl, my first love was hoops and hockey, but these days, it’s most definitely baseball (OK, in the fall, of course it’ll be football!). I have lots of memories of going to see games or watching it on TV…seated next to my father…who patiently explained the games and the rules to me. What I thought was my own natural tendency for sports and athleticism as the chief source for my understanding and love for sports, was in fact seeded and nurtured by my dad. My father passed away a few years ago, and I miss him in ways that I never imagined possible, but he handed down to me a love that I share in common with my brother. My brother gets downright giddy when we talk baseball…and it’s like we’re little kids again…

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top-horseI was thinking about the top – the toy that is. I remember sitting on the floor, concentrating on pushing the handle up and down, watching the horses do a run around the obstacle course inside the plastic bubble. The faster the handle went, the faster the horse went, it was fascinating! My toys were simple and few in number. One white plastic poodle that reminded me of rice pudding – hence loved dearly. One scratchy bear stuffed with wood chips. One plastic creature with a blue body and a giant orange head. (I still don’t know what that was). One stuffed bunny with an orange shirt, often making cameo appearances in childhood photos. The shortage of toys during the Soviet years almost seemed like a plot to promote reading, and in some cases imagination and creativity in future engineers, doctors, rocket scientists, and even artists and designers. At six, I was making puppet goats out of paper, and nailing wooden boards together to make a boat. In the spring, I set sail with an empty match box in the mini “river” that ran in the space between the concrete road and the sidewalk. I’d follow it all the way around the neighborhood until it would reach its final destination and disappear in the drain. I didn’t have much, but whatever I had seemed to be enough.topotuska

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Do you still have one of these driving around your neighborhood?

Do you still have one of these driving around your neighborhood?

As a child, I wasn’t ever allowed to get ice cream from ice cream trucks…I know, weird…don’t ask. On the other hand, there’s Sweetie, who must have, I think, lived in one. We were visiting friends in Florida recently when he jumped up, wildly shouting, “What’s that?!?” and flew out the door. Seriously, I thought a house was on fire across the street. But no, there he stood, excitedly waiting by the curb, counting his change. SEVERAL minutes later, an ice cream truck appeared. To me, this was akin to a dog’s whistle…only Sweetie heard the ice cream truck’s tinkling, beckoning melody, which was MILES away.

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Cousins born on the same day showing some love!

Cousins born on the same day showing some love!

I just got this adorable photo, and it reminded me of how much I loved having my cousins around when I was little. I think it’s so special to grow up with them around. I have lots of memories of running around and playing all day during the summers. Cousins seem better than siblings because even though they are family, they’re not nearly as annoying! 😉 They are a nice balance between being a family member, as much as being just a good friend. How neat that these two were born on the same day!

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