21 Dec
2014

It’s the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year!

I’m not gonna get into the tech­ni­cal science-y parts of win­ter sol­stice because well, that’s not really what’s impor­tant to me. What’s impor­tant to me is that from this day for­ward, the days get a lit­tle longer each day! Aside from that, you have a very long night ahead to do a lot of fun, night time things and a very short day as well.

Ten things you can do to cel­e­brate win­ter solstice:

  1. Have a night time movie marathon! Sols Movie Marathon Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards
  2. Have a win­ter sol­stice party! Invite your friends over and use this as an excuse to drink!

    Sols Party Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

    Have a cool snowflake themed party like this one!

  3. Binge watch a series on Net­flix. Orange is the New Black here I come!
    Sols Netflix Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards
  4. Get no sleep! Stay up all­l­l­l­lll night. Have fun at work tomorrow!

    Sols tired Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

    This could be you

  5. Go out­side at noon and mea­sure your shadow (it will be extremely long!

    Sols shadows Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

    Long shad­ows!

  6. Have win­ter sol­stice fireworks!

    Sols Fireworks Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

    oooooOOOOOOOooooooo

  7. Make your own Stone­henge in your yard!

    Sols Stonehenge Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

    Here’s a help­ful diagram

  8. Cel­e­brate every occur­rence of the num­ber 23 (the earth tilts at 23.5°)

    Sols 23.5 Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

    See?

  9. Watch the sun­set– it’s so early!
     Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards
  10. Spend your evening in a can­dlelit envi­ron­ment! Such ambience.

    Sols Candles Its the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

    Just get like a majil­lion of these

16 Dec
2014

Happy birthday to my historical soul mate, Jane Austen!

janeausten 640x480 Happy birthday to my historical soul mate, Jane Austen! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Who wouldn’t love that face?

So here’s the thing.  Some peo­ple don’t like Jane Austen.  As a rule, I wouldn’t really mind that, because I’m not the kind of per­son who needs every­one to agree with him, but I kind of really need every­one to agree with me that Jane Austen is the best thing in the world.  Mostly because of all the anti-Austen opin­ions I’ve ever read, the most com­mon com­plaint, by far, is that her books are bor­ing.  False.  Patently, hilar­i­ously, stu­pidly false.  I’ve actu­ally con­cluded that peo­ple who don’t like Jane Austen prob­a­bly can’t actu­ally read.  And since Decem­ber 16th is her birth­day, I shall here and now school you all on the lovely Jane’s intense awesomeness.

ccpp 210x300 Happy birthday to my historical soul mate, Jane Austen! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Because if you can read, and you picked up Pride and Prej­u­dice, how could you not be inter­ested in Mr. Bennet’s quip, “You mis­take me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you men­tion them with con­sid­er­a­tion these twenty years at least.”  That’s gold!

Who can read Emma Woodhouse’s hilar­i­ously snarky blun­der, “Ah! ma’am, but there may be a dif­fi­culty. Par­don me, but you will be lim­ited as to number–only three at once.”  And not lit­er­ally lol?  She’s so ridicu­lously self-satisfied that she becomes a bitch!

And the dry wit of Sense and Sen­si­bil­ity, “It is not every­one,’ said Eli­nor, ‘who has your pas­sion for dead leaves.”  So great.  Point being, Jane Austen rules, and you (if you don’t love Jane Austen) drool.  Full stop.

ccemma 187x300 Happy birthday to my historical soul mate, Jane Austen! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

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12 Dec
2014

Gingerbread House Day!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Gang! Gin­ger­bread House Day is Decem­ber 12! Did you know there was an offi­cial Gin­ger­bread House Day? I didn’t, but now that I do,I think it feels totally right to have a day to cel­e­brate gin­ger­bread houses, because they are the BEST!  So Christ­masy and the per­fect way to flex your cre­ative mus­cles and sat­isfy your sweet tooth AT THE SAME TIME!!!!

Gin­ger­bread houses were pop­u­lar­ized by the Broth­ers Grimm’s fairy tale Hansel and Gre­tel , becom­ing a pop­u­lar Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tion in Ger­many in the early 1800’s. The world’s largest gin­ger­bread house was made in Texas (of course it was) in 2013 and looks delicious!

Even if your gin­ger­bread houses turn out more like this

than this

you can still have a great time mak­ing a beau­ti­ful (hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so on…) mas­ter­piece and many won­der­ful memories!

Here are some more fan­tas­tic gin­ger­bread houses for inspi­ra­tion! Hmmmm…maybe a Necco Wafer roof this year, or marsh­mal­low snow­men, or a sour patch Hansel and Gre­tel as a shout out to the gin­ger­bread house’s spooky begin­nings… So many choices!

Have a happy and Fun Gin­ger­bread House Day, y’all!!!

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9 Dec
2014

KU’s Simple, Two-step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game!

Step 1!  Buy awe­some Christ­mas cards like these!

cavallini 640x960 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Look at this adorable owl!

folio 640x960 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Look how happy that ice-skating deer is! He’s the def­i­n­i­tion of jolly!

gallison 640x426 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

OMG Rudolph!

gorey KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Take THAT fruit­cake apologists!

gorey2 640x960 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Edward Gorey ftw!

jmartinez KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

It’s like a Christ­mas Where’s Waldo!

jmartinez2 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

When in doubt, flow­ers and glit­ter. In all situations.

madpark 640x426 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Ugh. It’s so cute I just wanna punch it in the face.

moma 640x426 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Yes, those are pen­guins on a ski lift. And they pop. out. Like, wtf. Too cute.

naos 640x960 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Dude, pop out cards are the coolest.

nyer 640x960 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Funny Christ­mas cards are so good, guys.

p3 640x960 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Foiled cards are also super classy.

pumppress 640x426 KUs Simple, Two step Program for Upping Your Christmas Card Game! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

And my favorite card ever, Santa with all his North Pole friends. So great, you guys.

Step 2:  There is no step 2, dummy!  You did it!  Christ­mas card mas­tery unlocked!  Send those cards!  All these and much more here at KU!  Come and get ‘em!

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8 Dec
2014

KU’s Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series! Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life!

Let’s be hon­est, KU is pretty much stock­ing stuffer cen­tral.  Santa shops here for the stuff he puts in your stock­ing.  Seri­ously.  Also he loves us.  Obvi­ously.  Any­way, here are some stock­ing stuffer ideas for your favorite bibliophile!

IMG 5205 640x960 KUs Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series!  Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Let­ter­press tat­toos! So you can make your favorite book quotes on your skin!

IMG 5213 640x426 KUs Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series!  Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Lit­er­ary wrist­watches! (Also we have a ton more that aren’t lit­er­ary but are frickin’ epic, so, there’s that.)

IMG 5220 640x430 KUs Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series!  Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Book cover t-shirts! They rule so hard, you guys. Again, we have a ton more designs.

IMG 5221 640x426 KUs Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series!  Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Sec­u­lar Saint devo­tional can­dles! Here’s Von­negut (he’s the patron saint of human­ity, mis­an­thropes, and the fan­tas­tic!) pic­tured with his books, but we also have Freud, Dar­win, Shake­speare, and sev­eral other sec­u­lar saints!

IMG 5225 640x960 KUs Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series!  Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Shakespeare’s Star Wars (and The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return) does dou­ble duty as the per­fect gift for a Shake­speare fan AND THE BEST GIFT FOR ANYONE EVER BECAUSE IT’S THE COOLEST IN THE WORLD!!!!!! Plus, who doesn’t want a Darth Vader cookie jar?

IMG 5232 640x426 KUs Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series!  Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

The Great­est First Lines of Lit­er­a­ture mug needs nei­ther intro­duc­tion nor expla­na­tion. Get it. Got it? Good.

IMG 5233 640x426 KUs Great Gift Ideas: The Christmas Series!  Stocking Stuffers for the Reader(s) in Your Life! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Ditto for the Jane Austen mug! (We also have Poe and Von­negut mugs which kill!)

All this and much much (MUCH) more at KU this hol­i­day sea­son!  Come down and see us! <3!

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7 Dec
2014

National Hand Washing Awareness Week

When I was in mid­dle school, my friends would ask me if I was prep­ping for surgery as I washed my hands since it took me so much longer than them.

Ha. Ha. Hiiiii-larious.

My fam­ily fre­quented Bob Evans back in the day quite a bit. Their gravy and bis­cuits was said to be awe­some. I hate break­fast, so I wouldn’t know. But that’s beside the point. In the bath­room at Bob Evans, they had a sign on the mirror.

IMG 0113 640x853 National Hand Washing  Awareness Week  Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Being an impres­sion­able 12 year old, I took this sign to HEART. I began to sing the song in my head while I washed my hands. Which is the cor­rect way to wash your hands. 20 sec­onds with soap and warm water. Then dry.

So my retort to the first ques­tion posed is, “No, are you a dis­gust­ing slob with grimey hands?”

National Hand­wash­ing Aware­ness Week is a great time to remind your­self that it is o-kay to take 20 sec­onds to wash your hands. It is also okay to sing Old Mac­don­ald out loud. Peo­ple will def­i­nitely leave you alone in pub­lic restrooms.

Unless they’ve been to Bob Evans. Then they’ll sing with you.

If you’re not sold on the whole hand wash­ing deal, I want you to know that I’m not a ger­mo­phobe. There’s some bac­te­ria that’s actu­ally ben­e­fi­cial and okay to be exposed to! Here are the ben­nies to wash­ing your hands on the reg (and well).

  • Less chance of get­ting sick in general
  • Less chance of get­ting infec­tious diar­rhea (OH MAH GAH THIS SHOULD BE THE ONLY REASON YOU NEED)
  • Less chance of get­ting your fam­ily sick
  • Less chance of pick­ing up some­thing weird from pet­ting an animal
  • Less chance of all of the bad things that are spread by germs on your hands

What are you wait­ing for? Go wash your hands, fool!

4 Dec
2014

St. Nicholas Day! Or, a story about being a kid!

stnick St. Nicholas Day!  Or, a story about being a kid! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

Man, St. Nick is a baller.

Ok, so.  First of all, my par­ents never really had us believ­ing in Santa.  I don’t really know why, seems like a harm­less enough myth to me, but it wasn’t for us.  When she was in sec­ond grade, my sis­ter appar­ently was telling peo­ple that Santa wasn’t real.  So her teacher runs into my dad and goes, “Mr. Marthens, Ros­alie is telling the other chil­dren that Santa Claus isn’t real!”  and my dad goes, “Well you know he isn’t, right?”

snickicon 225x300 St. Nicholas Day!  Or, a story about being a kid! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

ANY­who.  St. Nicholas is a real saint from whom Santa Claus derives.  He was a Greek bishop who lived in the 4th cen­tury and because of the many mir­a­cles attrib­uted to his inter­ces­sion is some­times called Niko­laos the Won­der­worker which, if I’m being hon­est, is a pretty B.A. moniker.  He had a rep­u­ta­tion for giv­ing many small gifts, espe­cially to chil­dren, hence Santa being derived from him, but his feast day (12/6) is also cel­e­brated by the giv­ing of small gifts in many countries.

So when we were kids, my grand­mother whose father came from a fam­ily of Ger­man immi­grants would always remind us to leave out our shoes on the night of Decem­ber 5th so that St. Nicholas could leave us presents.  As with Santa, I think we knew all the time that the gifts were from her, but some­how St. Nicholas Day always seemed a lit­tle more mys­te­ri­ous and fun I guess because the gifts weren’t labeled.

So if you like giv­ing your kids or grand­kids cute lit­tle toys and oranges and candy, teach them about St. Nicholas and leave them some mys­te­ri­ous presents!  It’s the best!

BONUS INFORMATION!  The Euro­pean tra­di­tions sur­round­ing St. Nicholas also encom­pass the cau­tion­ary tales of Pere Fou­et­tard (some crazy butcher guy who kills bad kids or some­thing.  It’s all very con­fus­ing if you’re not French) and Kram­pus! (The super­nat­ural Ger­man ver­sion who’s like a hairy devil or some crazi­ness.  We have a book about him!)

krampus St. Nicholas Day!  Or, a story about being a kid! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

This is Kram­pus. Pretty much the oppo­site of St. Nicholas vis-a-vis looks and/or motivations.

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1 Dec
2014

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: December!

gianttree Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: December! Pittsburgh Gifts Cards

This pic­ture is from The Daily Mail, but in spirit, the dri­ver of that car is KU.

OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS.  IT’S DECEMBER AND KU IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT!  WE LOVE THE HOLIDAYS AS MUCH AS ANY HUMAN BEINGS CAN LOVE ANY SINGLE THING!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  CLICK READ MORE TO FIND OUT WHAT WERE UP TO!

Read more »

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