Articles by " Jessica Philo"
2 Apr

April KU Book Club!

This mon­th we’ll be read­ing The Colour of Mag­ic by Ter­ry Pratch­ett!


From Goodreads: “Ter­ry Pratchett’s pro­found­ly irrev­er­ent, best­selling nov­els have gar­nered him a revered posi­tion in the halls of par­o­dy next to the likes of Mark Twain, Kurt Von­negut, Dou­glas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

The Col­or of Mag­ic is Ter­ry Pratchett’s maid­en voy­age through the now-leg­endary land of Dis­c­world. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflow­er and his wiz­ard guide, Rincewind.

On a world sup­port­ed on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a glee­ful, explo­sive, wicked­ly eccen­tric expe­di­tion sets out. There’s an avari­cious but inept wiz­ard, a naive tourist whose lug­gage moves on hun­dreds of dear lit­tle legs, drag­ons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the plan­et…”

The April meet­ing is on Sun­day April 26th at 6 PM! See you then!

20 Mar

First day of spring!! First day of spring!!!

Spring is here! Spring is here! Moth­er nature doesn’t always like to coop­er­ate with when we say spring begins, but either way, here are 5 things I’m look­ing for­ward to this fine spring.

  1. Tulips. OH MY GOD TULIPS. As soon as I start to see those bug­gers pop­ping out of the ground my heart leaps. BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS ARE ON THEIR WAY.
  2. Hyacinth. Get a whiff of the­se babies because they are fra­grant and delight­ful.
  3. When the trees start to get leaves again. 

    Baby Leaves

    This is my back yard last spring on April 20!

  4. Mag­no­lia trees. The­se are prob­a­bly my favorite part of spring. THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!
    Magnolia Tree
  5. Lady­bugs!


    This is my lady, we’re friends.

12 Mar

Happy Birthday, Einstein!

March 14th is Einstein’s birth­day and he seems like he was a real­ly cool dude. Look at some of the insight­ful things he’s said that are STILL TRUE TODAY.

Every­thing is determined…by forces over which we have no con­trol. It is deter­mined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, veg­eta­bles, or cos­mic dust—we all dance to a mys­te­ri­ous tune, intoned in the dis­tance by an invis­i­ble piper.”

The impor­tant thing is to not stop ques­tion­ing. Curios­i­ty has its own rea­son for exist­ing.”

Do not wor­ry about your dif­fi­cul­ties in math­e­mat­ics; I can assure you that mine are still greater.”

All my life I have dealt with objec­tive mat­ters; hence I lack both the nat­u­ral apti­tude and the expe­ri­ence to deal prop­er­ly with peo­ple and to car­ry out offi­cial func­tions.”

There is only one road to human great­ness: through the school of hard knocks.”

I do not play games…. There is not time for it. When I get through with work, I don’t want any­thing that requires the work­ing of the mind.”

The val­ue of an edu­ca­tion in a lib­er­al arts col­lege is not the learn­ing of many facts, but the train­ing of the mind to think some­thing that can­not be learned from text­books.”

Science - Physics - Albert Einstein

Now that we have that out of the way, a few tid­bits about Ein­stein. He was born in Ger­many in 1879, but moved around a bunch in his life and spent the end of his life in Prince­ton, NJ. Go Amer­i­ca! He was reject­ed from col­lege at the Swiss Fed­er­al Poly­tech­ni­cal School when he first applied at the age of 18. He has to re-take the entrance exams a year lat­er, and was accept­ed then.


Also, he was in des­per­ate need of a hair style.Einstein3

He did this which seems neat.

Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue

And he came up with this, also. NBD.


6 Mar

Middle Name Pride Day!

Middle Name

Mid­dle names are one of those things that we very rarely ques­tion. Why the eff do we have mid­dle names? Men­tal Floss to the res­cue!

In ancient Rome, hav­ing mul­ti­ple names was an hon­or usu­al­ly bestowed upon the most impor­tant people—like Gaius Julius Cae­sar. The fad died out only to pick back up again in West­ern cul­tures in the 1700s, when aris­to­crats start­ed giv­ing their chil­dren lav­ish­ly long names to indi­cate their place in soci­ety. Sim­i­lar­ly, lengthy Span­ish and Ara­bic names adopt pater­nal or mater­nal names from pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions to trace the individual’s fam­i­ly tree. (In oth­er cul­tures, like Chi­ne­se, there are tra­di­tion­al­ly no mid­dle names.)

The three-name struc­ture used today began in the Mid­dle Ages when Euro­peans were torn between giv­ing their child a saint’s name or a com­mon fam­i­ly name. The prac­tice of giv­ing three names even­tu­al­ly resolved the prob­lem with a for­mu­la: given name first, bap­tismal name sec­ond, sur­name third. It branched to Amer­i­ca as immi­grants arrived: Adopt­ing a trio of labels became a way of aspir­ing to a high­er social class. Non­re­li­gious mid­dle names—often mater­nal maid­en names—gradually became the norm, and by the Civil War, it was cus­tom­ary to name your child what­ev­er you liked. Mid­dle names had start­ed to become more or less offi­cial by World War I, when the U.S. enlist­ment form became the first offi­cial gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment to include space for them.”

So, we have mid­dle names because we are A.) aspir­ing to be more upper class, B.) keep­ing a fam­i­ly name, well, in the fam­i­ly, or C.) keep­ing a reli­gious name in the mix. Or your par­ents were like EFF THIS and just picked a name they liked. OR may­be you don’t even have a mid­dle name. So many pos­si­bil­i­ties. So inter­est­ing!

So where do you fall on the mid­dle name spec­trum? I have a fam­i­ly fore­name as my mid­dle name. My BF has a fam­i­ly sur­name as his mid­dle name. My dad has the same mid­dle name as his dad. They actu­al­ly share their entire name, which is neat. And then most of the oth­er peo­ple I know had mid­dle names that are just names their par­ents liked.

I won­der how many par­ents nam­ing their babies hold their baby, say the baby’s may­be-name out loud and won­der how it will sound when they are PISSED and yelling the whole thing. Ha. Can’t say it wouldn’t cross my mind. Bet­ter not name your kid a tongue twister. Noth­ing ruins a good get­tin yelled at by stut­ter­ing and get­ting con­fused.

25 Feb

Hooray, National Chili Day is February 26th!

If there’s one thing that’s per­fect for a Pitts­burgh win­ter meal, it’s chili. (Also piero­gies, but that’s for a sep­a­rate post.) Chili is hearty, rel­a­tive­ly healthy, and oh. My. God. does it taste good. Put some cheese and sour cream on it and I’ll see you nev­er because I’ll be busy stuff­ing my face and propos­ing to a bowl of food.

Feb 26

Prepar­ing to dive in in 3, 2, 1…


I prefer turkey chili since my cho­les­terol is superbly effed up (thanks moth­er nature!) but I think in a dish this com­plex and won­der­ful you don’t need to go the beef way. I have a go-to chili recipe that I’m super excit­ed to share with you! It’s two step­pi­ness (exclud­ing mild prep of gar­lic and onions) makes it sim­ple, easy, and t-t-t-tasty. I also like to serve this over brown rice and top with cheese and sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt (you real­ly can’t tell the dif­fer­ence.)) AND ALSO some fresh bread is good to dip in this.

Sim­ple Turkey Chili

Prep Time: 15 Min­utes

Cook Time: 45 Min­utes

Ready In: 1 Hour total

Serv­ings: 10


  • 1 ¾ tea­spoons olive oil
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
  • 1 ¼ onion, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • One 28 ounce can canned crushed toma­toes
  • One 16 ounce can canned kid­ney beans drained, rinsed, and mashed
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 table­spoon and ¾ tea­spoon gar­lic, minced
  • 2 table­spoons and 1 ½ tea­spoons chili pow­der
  • ½ tea­spoon paprika
  • ½ tea­spoon dried oregano
  • ½ tea­spoon ground cayen­ne pep­per
  • ½ tea­spoon ground cumin
  • ½ tea­spoon salt
  • ½ tea­spoon ground black pep­per


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medi­um heat. Place turkey in the pot, and cook until even­ly brown. Stir in onion, and cook until ten­der.
  2. Pour water into the pot. Mix in toma­toes, kid­ney beans, black beans, and gar­lic. Sea­son with chili pow­der, paprika, oregano, cayen­ne pep­per, cumin, salt, and pep­per. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cov­er, and sim­mer 30 min­utes.
23 Feb

February Book Club Wrap Up & March Book Club Book!

February’s Un-Book Club Tea Par­ty was a smash­ing suc­cess! Check out how love­ly and whim­si­cal it was!

And now, the announce­ment you’ve been wait­ing for! Drum­roll please! *Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr* *Drum­ming palms on thighs*

princess-bride-bookOur March KU Book Club Book is The Princess Bride by William Gold­man! That’s right. The book your favorite movie is based on! (Sor­ry. OUR favorite movie.) Adven­ture, romance, and a clas­sic tale await you in this delight­ful nov­el :)

Here’s Kristen’s review!

I know you have seen the movie, and loved it, (who didn’t love it?) but I can’t stress enough that you should also read this book.  Read it for the hilar­i­ous ‘asides’ where Gold­man takes you on an up close and per­son­al tour of both his child and adult­hood.  Read it for the intro­duc­tion, a beau­ti­ful and touch­ing piece of writ­ing (and includes juicy tid­bits about mak­ing the movie).  Read it for the “But­ter­cups Baby” expla­na­tion.  Espe­cial­ly the con­ver­sa­tion Gold­man has with Stephen King (they are friends and have a sort of mutu­al admi­ra­tion soci­ety going, a fact that nev­er fails to delight me).  The first line of the orig­i­nal text reads “This is my favorite book in all the world” and I couldn’t agree more.”

So! We’ll be recon­ven­ing for book club on Sun­day March 22 at 6 PM here are the store.Be there or be square.


16 Feb

Announcing the first EVER Kards Unlimited Instagram Contest!

Announcement with Filter

Two lucky win­ners will each win a $50 gift cer­tifi­cate to the store! Here’s how it works:

The con­test starts RIGHT NOW and ends on Sun­day March 1, 2015 at 5 PM. Once the con­test is closed, the win­ners will be cho­sen! One win­ner will be cho­sen by the pho­to with the most likes and the oth­er win­ner will be cho­sen by the staff at KU.

How do you enter? Sim­ply take a pho­to of your favorite KU thing (you are more than wel­come to pho­tograph it in the store! Tell us if you do! WERE ALL ABOUT IT!)  and post it to Insta­gram with the hash­tag #MyFa­voriteKUThing. You can sub­mit as many entries as you’d like! You must be fol­low­ing @KardsUnlimited on Insta­gram, and in order for your photo(s) to be eli­gi­ble your account has to be pub­lic (so peeps can vote for your pho­to and we can see it too!) Entrants must be 13 years or old­er and a res­i­dent (or stu­dent) in Allegheny Coun­ty.

Here are a few sam­ple entries! Feel free to be as kooky and sil­ly and fun as you’d like! We like fun, in case you didn’t know :)

Here are the offi­cial rules for you nerdz who find legale­se fun:


  1. 1. Eli­gi­bil­i­ty: The Kards Unlim­it­ed Insta­gram Con­test (the “Con­test”) is open to res­i­dents of Allegheny Coun­ty who are 13 years of age or old­er and who have the Insta­gram appli­ca­tion down­load­ed on their mobile smart device (“Device”) and an Insta­gram account as of date of entry. Void where restrict­ed or pro­hib­it­ed, and sub­ject to all fed­er­al, state, provin­cial and local laws.
  2. Con­test Peri­od: The Con­test begins on Mon­day Feb­ru­ary 16, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. East­ern Time (“ET”) and ends on Sun­day March 1, 2015 at 5 p.m. ET (the “Entry Peri­od”).
  3. How to Enter the Con­test: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to enter the Con­test. A pur­chase will not increase your chances of win­ning. Before enter­ing the Con­test, the “Pho­tos Are Pri­vate” option in your Insta­gram account set­tings must be set to “OFF”. To enter the Con­test, you must be fol­low­ing Kards Unlim­it­ed on Insta­gram @kardsunlimited ( Dur­ing the Entry Peri­od, (i) pick one of your orig­i­nal pho­tos that you think cap­tures your favorite Kards Unlim­it­ed pro­duct (ii) fol­low the online instruc­tions to upload your pho­to to Insta­gram; and (iii) tag your pho­to with the hash­tag #MyFa­voriteKUThing. Numer­ous entries per Insta­gram account per­mit­ted. Pho­tos must be upload­ed in accor­dance with the Insta­gram Terms of Use ( Each upload­ed pho­to will be count­ed as one (1) “Entry” and is sub­ject to the require­ments out­lined below. All Entries must be com­plete and received before the end of the Entry Peri­od to be eli­gi­ble for the prize draw­ing. Entries may only be sub­mit­ted by a sin­gle reg­is­tered Insta­gram user, group sub­mis­sions are not per­mis­si­ble. Use of com­put­er pro­grams and/or oth­er auto­mat­ed devices to enter the Con­test is pro­hib­it­ed. Nor­mal inter­net access and Device usage charges imposed by your on-line ser­vice will apply.
    * Entries must be the orig­i­nal work of entrant
    * Entrant may be, but is not required to be, depict­ed in the Entry pho­to
    * Entries must not con­tain hate­ful con­tent of any kind; con­tent that pro­motes vio­lence or harm to anoth­er liv­ing crea­ture; or any oth­er offen­sive con­tent (as deter­mined by Kards Unlim­it­ed in its sole dis­cre­tion)
    * Entries must not con­tain mate­ri­al that pro­motes any activ­i­ties that may appear unsafe or dan­ger­ous
    * Entries must not con­tain mate­ri­al that pro­motes big­otry, racism, hatred or harm again­st any group or indi­vid­u­al or pro­motes dis­crim­i­na­tion based on race, sex, reli­gion, nation­al­i­ty, dis­abil­i­ty, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion or age
    * Entries must not con­tain adver­tise­ments, per­son­al solic­i­ta­tions or com­mer­cial solic­i­ta­tions; or pro­mote any polit­i­cal agen­da or par­ty
    * Entries must be in keep­ing with Kards Unlimited’s image and not con­tain any mate­ri­al that could reflect neg­a­tive­ly on the name, rep­u­ta­tion, or good­will of Kards Unlim­it­ed, its sub­sidiaries or affil­i­ates
    * Entries must not vio­late or encour­age the vio­la­tion of any law, rule or reg­u­la­tion
  5. Win­ning Pho­to Selec­tion and Noti­fi­ca­tion:
    One win­ning entry will be select­ed by choos­ing the pho­to that has the most likes at the end of the entry peri­od.
    Anoth­er win­ning entry will be select­ed by the staff of KU at the end of the entry peri­od.
    Win­ners will be noti­fied by Kards Unlim­it­ed via com­ment to their win­ning Insta­gram pho­to and given instruc­tions on how to con­tact Kards Unlim­it­ed through email to claim prize.
  6. Prizes: A total of one (2) prizes will be award­ed dur­ing the Con­test. Each win­ner will receive one (1) gift cer­tifi­cate to Kards Unlim­it­ed in the amount of $50. No cash in lieu of prize will be award­ed.
  7. Future Use: Kards Unlim­it­ed may use the win­ning pho­tos in future instances.



15 Feb

February’s (Un)Book Club Book!

Hey y’all. This mon­th, we’re going ALL OUT in hon­or of our book club book, Alice’s Adven­tures in Won­der­land and Through the Look­ing Glass by Lewis Car­roll. What does that mean? It means a frig­gin tea par­ty! A TEA PARTY! Tea, sug­ar, fin­ger sand­wich­es, and BOOK CLUB all in one awe­some place. When is this fan­tas­tic meet­ing? Sun­day Feb­ru­ary 22 at 6PM. Please see the fol­low­ing offi­cial invi­ta­tion for some­thing fan­tas­tic to look at.