Articles by " Jessica Philo"
11 Apr

You Have Our Permission To Drop Everything And Read Tomorrow

If you're like most of the people I know, you want to read more but can't seem to find the time. Drop Everything and Read Day to the rescue!


The premise is simple - stop what you're doing and READ! Plan free time into tomorrow and feel no guilt letting those dirty dishes sit a little longer, or putting off your laundry for some time. Pay no mind to your phone and simply sink into a good book. It can be hard to just be, but dammit, books are important! READING IS IMPORTANT!


So, if you happen into our store tomorrow, you will find all of our employees with their nose stuck in a book when they're not helping customers. What could be better? Pop a squat on our couch, post up in Coffee Tree, or stay at home and enjoy your recreational reading time.

Channel your inner Belle and get to readin', fool!

3 Apr

April is Grilled Cheese Month!

If you Google 'grilled cheese' approximately one hundred million bajillion delightful images come up. Seriously.

LOOK AT THEM. Are you hungry yet?

LOOK AT THEM. Are you hungry yet?

Cheese and bread are my absolute two favorite things on earth (what up cholesterol, you can suck it because CHEESE). Put some butter on it and now you have Paula Dean involved, which is always tasty. Grilled cheese is absolutely delightful, and it's so easy to make I'm not sure why I ever make anything else.

Ooh, tomatoes!

Ooh, tomatoes!

Grilled cheese has been around forev - think ancient Romans -  but it didn't start to get popular until the 1920s when processed slices of cheese and sliced bread became prominent. Once World War II was in full swing, so was the grilled cheese. It used to be just one slice of bread with cheese melted on top but it eventually morphed into the two slice sammie we all know and love today. I think it's possible to say correctly that grilled cheese is the best thing since sliced bread. Eh? Eh?


Here's a scary child planning on devouring her grilled cheese.

Here's a scary child planning on murderously devouring her grilled cheese.

So, in conclusion, grilled cheese is

  • The best thing ever
  • So easy to make
  • Also easy to have your burner up too high and to burn the shit out of
  • Not healthy in any way
This is a baked potato grilled cheese. *Dying*

This is a baked potato grilled cheese. *Dying*


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.