Articles by " Athena Flint"
18 May
2015

May Book Club Wrap-up

Kards Unlimited Book Club got together to talk about Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. We hit on a variety of topics: how the book compared to the movie, how it compared to Gaiman's other works, how much we love Gaiman in general, and how much some of us can't wait to read it to our little ones. Yeah, we know, there are swear words, but that's what white-out is for.

Overall, this month's book club was fun and DELICIOUS. One of our lovely staff members (her name is Peanut, and everyone shall call her Peanut) decided to get super creative and made a tres leches mango cake with a beautiful mango star design on it.
No, we didn't take pictures. and no, we didn't save you any.
We also had star cookies and, of course, cold cider and beer. What would book club be without refreshment?

IMG_20150518_092233

Carry On, Jeeves

Next month, KU book club will be reading P.G. Wodehouse's Carry On, Jeeves. We'll be meeting on June 28th at 6pm with cold cider and probably some sort of tea and crumpets. Scones perhaps. scones are nice.

Carry On, Jeeves is a collection of 10 short stories about Wooster and his butler, Jeeves. It is full of humor. The British sort. If you've ever seen Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry in Jeeves and Wooster, then you know what you're in for. If you haven't.... well, read the book first and then we'll have a marathon.

Here's a snippet for you:

“Don't leave me, Bertie. I'm lost."
"What do you mean, lost?"
"I came out for a walk and suddenly discovered after a mile or two that I didn't know where on earth I was. I've been wandering round in circles for hours."
"Why didn't you ask the way?"
"I can't speak a word of French."
"Well, why didn't you call a taxi?"
"I suddenly discovered I'd left all my money at my hotel."
"You could have taken a cab and paid it when you got to the hotel."
"Yes, but I suddenly discovered, dash it, that I'd forgotten its name."
And there in a nutshell you have Charles Edward Biffen. As vague and woollen-headed a blighter as ever bit a sandwich.

P.S.!!!! We started a Facebook page JUST for our lovely book clubbers! Follow it for updates on books, times, and heated debates. And probably a lot of hilarity, generally. 

P.P.S.!!! We gave our book club attendees an inside scoop on our upcoming SUMMER READING BINGO, which will be fantastic and fun and there will be prizes and competition and most importantly, BOOKS! keep checking your media outlets for the big announcement! We're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and in your e-mail

P.P.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE LOVE EXCLAMATION POINTS ALMOST AS MUCH AS WE LOVE BOOKS! also shouting. we love shouting. 

IMG_20150518_113415

Yes. All of those books are Wodehouse. And in our store. Did I mention we love Wodehouse?

See you all at Book Club!

12 May
2015

A gender-free shopping guide for greeting cards!

The rules of 'for girl' and 'for boy' have changed significantly in the last few years. More and more parents are choosing to raise their children without gender limiting rules. Blue isn't always for boys anymore, and pink isn't just for girls.

Unfortunately the world of greeting cards (specifically the BIG classic companies) hasn't quite caught up. Cards that are red and blue and have fire trucks come with a "boy birthday" header, and the frozen cards with the glitter stickers say "Girl Birthday". How do you shop for the perfect card when there seem to be gender rules placed on so many of them?

In the interest of helping you, our lovely customers, broaden your selection, here are a few tips on how to shop for greeting cards the gender-free way.

Just a few cards that could could be for anyone.

Just a few cards that could could be for anyone.

1. Ignore the headers.
Honestly, we get rid of a lot of them anyway. But we do have sections of cards, like our shoebox birthday, that have 'for him' and 'for her'. Look, we leave those headers there so that people don't get too lost. But there are some hilarious cards in there that you could give to people of both genders. So next time you're looking for a birthday card for your super fabulous GBFF, take a peek at the 'for her' cards. some of them are just labeled that way because they have glitter and sparkles on them. whatever. don't let those labels control you!

2. Don't be afraid to edit a card!
So there is one card in particular that gets me every time. It's a card for a dad that's like "Thanks for helping to learn how to use a drill and build stuff" (but more poetically) and it says in the card "from your son." A) I know for sure that I am not the only girl here who would like to thank her parent for teaching me how to use tools. B) Personally I would like to thank my MOTHER for that, because she was the woodworker in the family. So here's the deal. Some times there will be a card that says the perfect thing in it, but like 2 of the words are wrong. (He instead of She; Son instead of Daughter; Wife instead of Husband; and so on.) So CHANGE the words!!! Get a sticker or maybe just a sharpie and make some edits. because the point of a card is to find one that say the perfect thing for you and your loved one. And sometimes card companies don't quite get it right.

Look at all these awesome things that don't say girl or boy!

Look at all these awesome things that don't say girl or boy!

3. Know your kids when you're choosing cards!
Or if you don't, don't just assume that the little girl in your son's class that is having a birthday party likes pink tiaras. We have a huge variety of kids cards. Some of them say 'girl' and 'boy' in or on them, but some of them just have the cast of Cars or Frozen on them. And I know like a million little boys who just love Frozen. If you don't know the child you're buying for well enough to know if they like particular animated movies, don't worry! we have lots of cards that just have cute  bears on them or dragons. Boys AND girls like bears and dragons. srsly.

4. Check out new card lines!
You can find hallmark cards anywhere. But we have so many other amazing card lines, like Frantic Meercat, Seltzer, or Ripe! Some of these small card companies have progressed in the gender game far more quickly than the big companies. You can find plenty of cards that are laugh your ass off hilarious, but aren't gender defined at all. In fact, KU has a few of our own card lines that are just serious fun. We have meme cards, nerd cards, and cards for every holiday under the sun. Some times, the perfect birthday card is something like our Duran Duran day card, or Dr. Seuss day card!

Yes. All of these are cards. even that cookie.

Yes. All of these are cards. even that cookie.

5. When in doubt, check out the blank cards.
We have some absolutely fantastic cards that are blank inside. They don't try to be a him or her thing. They are just super cute or super sparkly, and just all around goodness. So when the cards with all the words aren't doing anything for you, find a card with a pretty picture and a short message and then fill up the inside with your own awesome words.

Good luck, everyone! We can change the world one card at a time.

10 May
2015

“We are born of love, love is our mother”

No lies, mothership freaks me out a little. The fact that some women have these little alien beings in their bodies for nine months is highly disconcerting to me. Which is why I, personally, will not be a mother except to the furry babies called cats and puppies.

BUT despite how I feel about the strangeness of giving birth, I have super respect for the mothers who have brought life into this world. Which is great, because it's mother's day and I'm going to write about how great mothers are.

I'm one of those lucky people who has the best mom in the world. She has taken every one of my crazy decicions and life announcements with much grace and love. Like, for instance, when I snuck into my first R rated movie, and she figured it out because there was no showing of the movie I told her I was going to see at 5:15, only a showing of Troy, and it had naked butts in it. She didn't even mention it until my overwhelming guilt made me confess to her. And then she was like, "yeah, I figured. It's okay. Don't do it again, okay?" What a woman.

Here at Kards, we're pretty awesome. But we're also super aware that a large part of what makes us the awesome people we are today is our dear mothers. Seriously, even if you're mom isn't as cool as mine is, she brought you into this amazing world, gave you a body to live in so that you could do things like eat ice cream and fly kites. What a cool thing. Yay moms!

Here are some of our moms. They are so freaking pretty and great and lovely and wonderful. Happy Mother's Day, moms!

mammaK

Mommy Colaizzi

Mom JP

Chickpea and her Mom

 

mommaFlint

Momma Flint

 

momRanallo

Mom Ranallo

 

6 May
2015

Children’s Book Week

henryawefulmistake

Leave the ants be. That is the lesson.

My mom tells me that when I was young, I really really loved books. She tells these stories about endless and grueling hours trying to put me to bed while I insisted on "annuder storyyyyy". And she likes to mention quite often the period of time when I slept with piles of books in my bed. (I have a nightstand now, otherwise I probably still would.)

When I was small there were a few books that I would read over and over and over again. David and Dog, by Shirley Hughes. (I even named my own stuffed dog "Dog".) And then there was Henry's Awful Mistake by Robert Quackenbush, the story of Henry the duck who accidentally destroyed his WHOLE HOUSE because he was trying to kill an elusive ant. It was date night too, poor guy.

davidanddog

This book was a treasure to me.

Of course there were a myriad of other books. piles of them. My mom would take us to the library once a week and I would just go nuts. Which was a problem, because I had a tendency to lose library books in my mattress. I'm pretty sure my mom and I combined have paid for a whole new wing of the library with our late fines.

Years later when I volunteered at the same library, I found myself  shelving books in the children's section and I just... got lost. I found these amazing book friends that I hadn't seen in years and years. Cookies and Milk, Alfie Gives a Hand, heck, even the Stinky Cheese Man. I sat myself right down in the children's section, at age 17, and just inhaled those books. Oh, the memories.

Children's book week is the perfect time for you to revisit your childhood books. I know that sometimes it's just assumed that this week is for children, to encourage them to read and to celebrate kids being kids. But I suggest that it is ALSO a time for us adults to return to our childhood again, to visit our old friends like the Giving Tree, the Lorax, and the Berenstain Bears. They've really missed you. Go say hi.

scieszka--stinkycheese

wordbirdlittleenginepokey puppy

1 May
2015

dunna nana nana nana BATMAN

It's time for us to sit down and have a serious conversation about Batman. Specifically the new face of batman: Ben Affleck.
What is that about. Who decided that. I have feelings.
batman-vs-superman
As someone who has been a Batman fan for a good long while, I'm feeling a little whiplash. I mean, Batman is basically a shape-shifter, these days. So many people's faces have claimed to be his face. And some of them have done so really poorly. (I'm looking at you, Clooney)

So we got some pretty decent Batman action with Christian Bale. It was a pretty thing they did, for sure. And I feel like a lot of people were like, that's nice, we can be done for a hot minute, right?

I understand that DC is eyeballing Marvel's success and wants to get in the action. And I am super excited about Wonder Woman. But, another Batman??? mannnnnn.

Also, Ben Affleck, really? his face is creepy. And will you LOOK at that picture up there? Who in their right mind would believe that there is a real human being under that bulk-tastic suit. There is no way Ben Affleck bulked up that much. But it looks like they think I'm supposed to believe that, because there are like veins built into the suit. So like what, they want us to think that those are real muscles? nope. not happening. (also.... just saying, if we could actually see viens popping through, A, the material would not be protective at all and B, Where are his nipples, then, huh? What, batman wears pasties? what.) Also, where is his neck?

So those are my thoughts, anyway. Go ahead and start arguing. I'd love to hear it.

Meanwhile, here is my submission for the REAL next Batman. Abed for Batman. He does it so well already.

26 Apr
2015

Cooking with Kards: A Feast of Ice and Fire

In honor of the new season of Game of Thrones, I decided it was the perfect time to cook something from the GOT cookbook: A feast of Ice and Fire. Long story short, this cook book is amazeballs. Like I recommend it 100%. Let me tell you why!

Let me talk about just the cookbook itself for a minute. (don't worry, I'll get to testing a recipe, but you HAVE to know these awesome things).

Look at that spread.

Look at that spread.

This cook book has some amazing features. It's got beautiful pictures and well written recipes. But my favorite two things about this cook book are these:

First of all, it pairs each recipe with a quote from the GOT books mentioning the food. Each of these recipes is something that a character from GOT encountered. How wicked cool is that? You really CAN dine like a Lannister.

But here's the BEST thing. You might be thinking right now, anyone can make a recipe and call it by a name that sounds like it would fit in the Game of Thrones universe, right? It doesn't mean that food is going to TASTE like it belongs in Game of Thrones. It could be newfangled hokey pokey, right?
WRONG. Most of these recipies, and there are a LOT of them, offer a 'modern recipie' and an actual medieval or historical recipe. Like, these things are made to taste just like they would in ye olden days with castles. You can ACTUALLY eat the dense and rich wonderful foods of Medieval times. Like the delisious types of food that would be covering a long table in the great hall, that a room full of cooks laboured over for hours to impress the nobility. THAT IS THE FOOD YOU CAN COOK.

So are you excited yet? BECAUSE YOU FREAKING SHOULD BE.

Granted, none of this so far guaruntees that the food is going to be good, right? Well, that's what I'm here for. Your own personal recipe tester TO the RESCUE!

Finished Product!

Finished Product!

I decided to test the medieval Pork Pie recipe. because that sounds delicious. Things that are called for by this recipe include saffron (just a pinch), dates, currants and lots of honey. So it is meant to be a sweet and dense hot pie to warm your belly in the cold winter, but also satisfy the sweet tooth that nobility could afford to have.

The pork pie was really quite easy to make. it took a little bit of time, but I didn't have anything but fun while making it. And the best part is that it was SO FREAKING YUMMY. Seriously. It was so good.

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This pie was not light and fluffy. It was dense and sweet and wonderful. It was the type of pie that you could take with you on a long trip without worry of it collapsing. It was a solid, beautiful piece of food. It was very clear that it was in fact a medieval type recipe. There was nothing made up about it. it was solid.

If this one recipe is ANY indication of what the rest of the book is like, YOU NEED TO BUY IT NOW. Seriously. I'm going to buy it. And I'm going to make Roman peaches with a honey and cumin sauce. It's happening.

 

 

LOOK HOW STURDY THIS THING IS I CAN EAT IT WITH MY HANDS

LOOK HOW STURDY THIS THING IS I CAN EAT IT WITH MY HANDS

Medieval Pie crust

Pinch of saffron
½ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter
3 cups flour
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

Dissolve the saffron in the water. Meanwhile, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until there are only crumb-sized pieces of butter left, then add the egg yolks and the saffron water. Stir until entirely incorporates, adding more water very gradually if needed, until everything just sticks together.

 

Medieval pork pie

1 ½ pounds ground pork
½ teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup honey
½ cup dried currants
½ cup chopped dates
1 batch of medieval pastry crust unbaked

Preheat oven to 375

Brown the pork in a skillet over medium heat. Let cool slightly and mix well with the salt, egg yolks, spices, honey and fruits. (the filling should be very moist.) place the mixture in the pie shell and add the lid. Fold the top dough under the edge of the bottom crust and pinch the edges shut. Cut decorative steam holes in the top of the pastry, and bake for 45 min to an hour, or until golden brown.

15 Apr
2015

Emma Watson turns 25!

emma-watson

Pretty AND Powerful. That's how you do it.

 

HP and the Philosopher's Stone

HP and the Philosopher's Stone

Just for perspective, Emma Watson was 11 when the first HP movie came out in 2001.

She was 21 when the final HP movie came out in 2011.

It has now been 4 years since then end of the Harry Potter Movie magic.

And Emma Watson is now 25.

(Dear HP fans, do you feel old? I know I do.)

Personally, Emma Watson is kind of my hero. We all know that she's a fantastic actor. And we all know that she never let fame go to her head. But Emma Watson has gone on to prove that she is actually an amazing and empowered woman who wants to make the world better for everyone! YAY!

I mean, if any of you DON'T know about #HeForShe by now..... well, you might want to consider catching up.

emmaGolden

Golden Globes 2015

Here are some super rad facts about Emma that will make you love her even more than you probably do right now. 

-Early on in her role as Hermione, Emma was so determined to rock it that she may.... have also memorized Harry and Ron's lines. You can see her mouthing along with them in this (adorable but awkward) clip on youtube.

-Emma is a certified Yoga instructor. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE.

-She journals every night.

-Both of her parents are lawyers. Which is probably why she is SO dang smart. You need a good brain on your head to get out of doing the dishes with two lawyers in the house. Not that she would really try and do that.

-She has a degree in English Literature.

-She named her pet cats Bubbles and Domino.

-Emma once missed an Oscars after-party because she fell asleep in her hotel room. When she woke up she decided to just order a pizza. No, this was not when she was 11. This was in 2014.

 

She's super the best, right? Happy Birthday, Emma! We're so glad you're you!

 

13 Apr
2015

National Library Week 2015

I don't know if you know this, but we love libraries. I mean, we love books, so of course we love giant buildings that are dedicated to public access to said books.

Now if you're like me, you are in love with ALL librarians. My dream job, once upon a time, was to work in a library. And then I found a website called Librarian Problems, where they basically explain all the horrible gross things that they have to deal with. That was the end of that dream. I super prefer to work here at this little bookstore where I don't need to tell people how to use a computer every five minutes and deal with returned books that have unidentified sticky on them...

But seriously, whether or not you yourself are a Librarian, you should check out Librarian Problems. Here are some gems from the website:

A potty training book comes back with water damage.

waterdamage

Someone tries to enter the Rare Book room with a pen. withapen

A patron asks for help with the computer and then tells me I'm doing it wrong. NeverWrong

After handling a sticky book.stickybook

When someone makes a fellow Librarian cry.
vomitOnYou

When I see someone dog-earring a page.

dogEar

Check out even more amazing Librarian Problem posts HERE!