10 Feb
2017

Get Lit This Valentine’s: 10 Literary Gifts For Your Book Nerd!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and flow­ers would be a great gift if your Valen­tine didn’t prefer the smell of a new book over a fresh rose. This Valentine’s Day, make an evening of the things your favorite book nerd loves most with a lit­er­ary-themed night in. Here are some of the roman­tic, fun­ny, and fun book­ish gifts avail­able at Kards Unlim­it­ed to help you plan the night!

1. Out of Print T-Shirts

Set the tone for the evening with lit­er­ary shirts from Out of Print! Throw on match­ing Where the Wild Things Are tees before show­ing off your wild sides (ahem). The Alice in Won­der­land design (pic­tured) will lead the way down the rab­bit hole of love (ahem). Com­fort­able enough for sleep­wear, trendy enough for day­wear, your Valen­tine won’t be able to get enough of their shirt.

2. Bookish Jewelry

Gift the one you love (or real­ly real­ly like) book-themed acces­sories to fin­ish the look. Voz cuffs and pen­dants are per­fect for a Valen­tine-on-a-bud­get. Designed for pop cul­ture and lit­er­ary buffs, designs range from the bold (Books are sexy”) to the roman­tic (“You have bewitched me body and soul”).

Kathy Brans­field Neck­laces are hand-stamped neck­laces will sweep your sweet off her feet. Made of ster­ling sil­ver with gold-plat­ed brass over­lays, roman­tic themes include Tennyson’s icon­ic quote, “If I had a flow­er for every time I thought of you I could walk through my gar­den forever.” Cue the swoon. Here are some oth­ers, includ­ing for your bestie; don’t for­get Galentine’s Day is the Mon­day before Valentine’s Day!

3. Get Cookin’

Once you’re both dressed for the occa­sion, warm things up in the kitchen with din­ner from a lit-inspired cook­book. From the play­ful 50 Shades of Chick­en to cook­books inspired by the Out­lander and True Blood series, we’ve got plen­ty of cheeky, sexy, and deli­cious options to choose from. Make the meal solo or turn it into a team adven­ture; some­times two cooks are more fun than one!

4. Harry Potter Games

Ron and Hermione. Har­ry and Gin­ny. Always. Any­one who says the Har­ry Pot­ter series isn’t roman­tic is a dirty filthy liar. While the 32nd shade of chick­en is in the oven, have some light­heart­ed game time with Har­ry Pot­ter Triv­ial Pur­suit, Hog­warts Bat­tle, or Har­ry Pot­ter Clue. I’m sure there are ways to make it sexy, if that’s your kind of thing. Remem­ber, Gryffind­ors, this is Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to win.

5. Temporary Tattoos

Now that you’re all roman­tic over HP, you’ve prob­a­bly real­ized you’re soul­mates. But before you go get match­ing Always tat­toos on your first Valentine’s togeth­er, try some­thing a lit­tle less per­ma­nent. Go the sen­si­ble, roman­tic route with a set of Jane Austen tat­toos, or the dark but just as fun Edgar Allen Poe set. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is kind of Valen­ti­nes-y, right? I mean, it’s got a heart.

6. Coloring Books

All right, the Raven­claw won Triv­ial Pur­suit in five min­utes flat and tem­po­rary tat­toos are now plas­tered over arms, legs, faces, and the dog, but there are still fif­teen min­utes before din­ner is ready. What to do? Let your love relax and col­or pic­tures from their favorite books while you set the table. Whether col­or­ing siz­zling sce­nes from Out­lander and Game of Thrones, or re-liv­ing child­hood with The Lit­tle Prince, Lit­tle House on the Prairie, or Har­ry Pot­ter, col­or­ing books are all the rage right now for a rea­son.

7. Poetry

What’s sweet­er than dessert? Poet­ry. All right, don’t skip dessert. That would be a bad choice on Valentine’s, but cer­tain­ly add to the sweet­ness with some poet­ry recita­tion. Not a poet? We have you cov­ered. Love poems are always a great choice, but if you’re look­ing for some­thing for year-round, we also offer themed books of poet­ry cov­er­ing just about every­thing, includ­ing pets and ani­mals, music and the blues, mar­riage, par­ent­hood, soli­tude, and even a book of erotic poems. Take your pick, it’s hard to go wrong.

8. North Ave Candles

Time to get cozy before the evening’s main event: read­ing! (What’s bet­ter?) Pull out the plush­est blan­kets and add some ambiance with a North Ave Can­dle. Heat things up with a Fahren­heit 451 inspired can­dle, which smells of smoked pine and parch­ment, or play some jazz and light a gin, juniper, and daisy Great Gats­by can­dle. Offer­ing more than a dozen book-inspired scents, North Ave Can­dles are made right in Pitts­burgh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 9. Tea

Almost ready to cud­dle and read, but don’t for­get the best friend of book nerds: tea! Tea Forte’s heart-shaped gift sets will warm your Valentine’s heart, but any of the sam­plers are strong choic­es. Choco­late tea will sati­ate the sweet tooth, while teas for the heart will show you care. The Tea Forte Noir fla­vors are espe­cial­ly fun for after dark. Don’t know where to start? Our staff hap­pens to love tea, and we love to talk, so feel free to ask­for rec­om­men­da­tions.

10. Books

Now the best part of the evening, it’s time to read! We may be called Kards Unlim­it­ed, but we also have a pret­ty awe­some selec­tion of books. Bet­ter yet, we’ve com­piled a spe­cial sec­tion with our favorite love and romance books to make shop­ping for your Valen­tine even eas­ier. From Pride and Prej­u­dice to Pride and Prej­u­dice and Zom­bies, and tear-jerk­er Me Before You to Aziz Ansari’s comedic Mod­ern Romance, there’s some­thing for every taste and romance lev­el.

Come on in to Kards Unlim­it­ed for more great ideas to make your Valentine’s Day one for the his­to­ry books. And don’t for­get your Valentine’s Day card while you’re here!

6 Feb
2017

Learn to steal like Neil Gaiman!

I read a book a while ago called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.  The book isn’t real­ly about steal­ing, of course, but about how to go about cap­i­tal­iz­ing on inspi­ra­tion and under­stand­ing the dif­fer­ences between emu­lat­ing a style because you appre­ci­ate it and straight up copy­ing some­one else’s work.

When I heard Neil Gaiman was going to pub­lish a book of Norse mythol­o­gy (inven­tive­ly enti­tled, Norse Mythol­o­gy), I imme­di­ate­ly thought of Steal Like an Artist because one of the things Kleon talks about in the book is get­ting to know the influ­ences of your influ­ences.  If you want to paint like Van Gogh, find out not only all you can about him, find out all you can about the painters that he admired and that influ­enced him.

Gaiman’s appre­ci­a­tion for Norse myth is very obvi­ous when you read his nov­el Amer­i­can Gods, since sev­er­al char­ac­ters direct­ly from Norse mythol­o­gy are trans­formed into main char­ac­ters of the nov­el.  How­ev­er, I’m excit­ed to read the Norse myths retold by Gaiman him­self, since they are such a sig­nif­i­cant influ­ence on his writ­ing.

Norse mythol­o­gy is not near­ly as well known in Amer­i­ca as its South­ern Euro­pean coun­ter­parts.  Indeed, the word mythol­o­gy in and of itself gen­er­al­ly gets peo­ple think­ing of Olym­pus and Her­cules and the rest of the Greek pan­theon.  Norse mythol­o­gy is quite dif­fer­ent.  The gods are more hero­ic and human, their ene­mies are much more diverse and, frankly, weird, and the nine worlds that make up the Norse uni­verse provide a mul­ti­tude of paths a depart­ed soul can take from life instead of a sim­ple trip across a river to the Under­world of the Greeks and Romans.

Any­one who has asked for book rec­om­men­da­tions at Kards Unlim­it­ed has undoubt­ed­ly been point­ed in the direc­tion of Neil Gaiman.  All of his books have been picked as favorites of at least a few of the staff and the KU Book Club has read three of his nov­els over the course of our meet­ings.  I’m cer­tain­ly not alone in being excit­ed for Gaiman’s newest book, and I think you will be too.  Come pick up a signed copy, on sale tomor­row, 2/7/17!

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5 Feb
2017

Superb Owl

Are you still salty about the New Eng­land Patri­ots beat­ing the Steel­ers and mak­ing their ninth Super­bowl appear­ance? Noth­ing sucks as much as watch­ing your team get best­ed by a bunch of dirty, cheat­ing pret­ty boys, coached by the most repul­sive man on this plan­et. So what bet­ter way to help heal the wound by being a sore loser and mak­ing fun of the Patri­ots! Here’s my top ten list of why you should hate the Pats:

 

  1. TOM BRADY/Bill Belichick Both Left Preg­nant Wom­an, For A Younger One

Tom Brady and Gise­le Bund­chen have been togeth­er since 2007, but are you aware of Brid­get Moy­na­han? Brady left her for Gise­le when she was more than three months preg­nant with his child. Gise­le is also nine years younger than Brid­get. It goes to show you that the man has com­mit­ment issues. It’s no won­der why him and Belichick get along so well, Bill also left his wife and high school sweet­heart Deb­by Clarke while she was preg­nant with their third child togeth­er for his now girl­friend Lin­da Hol­i­day.

2. Robert Kraft Gave a Super­bowl Ring to Putin

Ok, while he tech­ni­cal­ly didn’t give him a ring, it’s still ques­tion­able why the own­er of a sports team would want to meet the Rus­sian Pres­i­dent. While on a “busi­ness trip” Kraft was intro­duced to Putin, to whom Kraft showed his super­bowl ring. Appar­ent­ly, Putin tried it on and nev­er gave it back. Just know­ing that Vladimir Putin is a fan of the Patri­ots, one can only spec­u­late the shady deals Kraft and him have done over the years.

3.  Deflate­gate

Now this one is real­ly the only unbi­ased rea­son I have on this list. In May of 2015, the NFL began their inves­ti­ga­tion into the claims that the patri­ots were tam­per­ing with their foot­balls; deflat­ing their balls to make it eas­ier to grip and throw dur­ing the AFC cham­pi­onship game again­st the Colts. How could America’s team be cheaters? Have they no morals, have they no shame?

The bot­tom line is, they cheat­ed, they knew about it, regard­less of what they say. The Gold­en Boy him­self was in hot water, though only being charged a measly four game sus­pen­sion. This wasn’t the first time the Pats were caught though…

4. Spy­gate

If deflat­ing foot­balls gets you all worked up, you prob­a­bly for­got when the Patri­ots were caught tap­ing the New York Jet’s defen­sive coach­es’ sig­nals dur­ing a 2007 game. Tap­ing coach­es isn’t again­st the rules if done from des­ig­nat­ed areas, but the Pats were film­ing from their own side­line, which is not allowed. Belichick was fined 500k for this, the team itself was fined 250k and their first round draft pick in the 2008 draft. It came out lat­er that they were tap­ing the St. Louis Rams prac­tice before the Super­bowl in 2002 as well. Caught cheat­ing twice, but they must have an excel­lent PR team, because Pats nation is as strong as ever. (Sounds famil­iar…)

5. Any Fan 23 and under only knows win­ning

Don’t you just hate peo­ple that win every­thing? But don’t you hate it more when those peo­ple weren’t there from the begin­ning? Wel­come to Patri­ots Nation. The epi­cen­ter for band­wag­on fans. A fun fact, if you’re 23 and under, you’ve only wit­nessed sea­sons with at least 11 wins. They’ve nev­er real­ly had much to com­plain about. No young Patri­ots fan is even remote­ly hum­ble about win­ning, and if you bring up cheat­ing, they turn into a lit­tle kid cov­er­ing their ears and eyes, blind and deaf to the truth.

6. Week 17 2000 was the last time they played a game already elim­i­nat­ed from play­off con­tention

Stats like this just rip people’s hearts out when they read them. Lions fans have wit­nessed a win­less sea­son, Jets fans have suf­fered from medi­oc­rity, and Rams fans have watched their team pack up and move. But for the past sev­en­teen years, Patri­ots fans have had the hope of mak­ing it to the play­offs. They can’t relate to any oth­er team or fan, they just live in this lit­tle fan­ta­sy world where they nev­er lose, and that’s why Pat fans are just so insuf­fer­able.

7. Aaron Her­nan­dez

A local boy from my home state of Con­necti­cut, end­ed up play­ing tight end for the Pats in 2010. In 2013 he was arrest­ed for the mur­der of semi pro foot­ball play­er Odin Lloyd. He was released from the team, found guilty of the crime, and sen­tenced to life in pris­on with­out parole. He was also indict­ed for the dou­ble mur­der of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Fur­ta­do.  I know the Pats real­ly can’t con­trol the­se ter­ri­ble things, but it just throws fuel on the fire. It leaves a stain on their rep­u­ta­tion.

8. Why does Belichick cut the sleeves off his shirts?

This one is pure­ly a mat­ter of taste. Is it for move­ment? Style? Does he need to air his pits out con­stant­ly? What­ev­er the rea­son, I think it’s the stu­pid­est thing in foot­ball and I will make fun of him for it until the day he retires.

9. Fans just suck

Patriot’s fans are sim­ply the worst fans in all of sports. They’re loud, rude, enti­tled, band­wag­on-y jerks. I have yet to meet a fan I get along with. 

 

 

 

10. GRONK

TE Rob Gronkoski is the quin­tes­sen­tial douche bag. He’s dumb, he will sleep with your girl­friend in a heart­beat, and he’s admit­ted­ly pret­ty good at what he does. Nobody likes that type of per­son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are plen­ty more as to why you can hate the Patri­ots, but hope­ful­ly this give you some moti­va­tion.

 

3 Feb
2017

THE CUTEST CARD HOLIDAY ALL YEAR!

…is why we LOVE Valentine’s Day!

and also we love love. Like a lot. It’s our thing.

I’m going to try my very best to stay calm and not to shout at you dur­ing this tour of our best Valentine’s Day cards. Look how calm I am. No hyper­bol­ic excla­ma­tions. NBD. What­ev. I could care less. Ok let’s look at some cards.

OH MY GOD THO LOOK AT THE PUNS!!!!!!!!!

punlove

Pun Love

Not only are the­se cards the CUTEST, and fair-trade recy­cled, they also hap­pen to sup­port an amaz­ing cause.  The card mak­ers are wom­en who have escaped sex traf­fick­ing in the Philip­pines and young adults orphaned by dis­ease in Rwan­da. Each card is signed  and so con­nects you to the life you are help­ing to trans­form. I know. Cry­ing. I can’t even. Also from Good Paper, some adorb gay/lesbian designs because LOVE IS MOTHERF***ING LOVE! Ahem.

loveislove

May­be puns aren’t your thing. How about some SCIENCE! I’d say the more roman­tic sci­ences are Chem­istry (duh) and astron­o­my (man crush on Neil Degrasse Tyson):

 

 

Sci­ence not your thing? How about the 80s! The 80s is everyone’s thing. Except cur­mud­geons. The­se cards are by a new com­pa­ny we are IN LOVE with called The Found:

retrolove

Retro Love

May­be you want that vin­tage vibe; check out the­se beau­ti­ful water col­or cards from Driscoll:

dricoll

How about the­se nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring hearts in nature from the love­ly Hearts Hap­pen line, we have a bunch and they are all so sweet:

Hearts Happen

Hey if you like nature, may­be you like NPR? Eh? Safe assump­tion? Ani­mals? Eh? Try out the­se cards from Lady Pilot, also a new favorite:

liberllove

Let’s get seri­ous now. Let’s get down to the best kind of love. NERD LOVE. And the best kind of cards, OUR CARDS! That’s right, the­se are home­made fresh out the oven best served with geek sauce.

hplove

 

nerdlove

But seri­ous­ly, we have seri­ous cards too. We have it all, and we sin­cere­ly love to help you find the per­fect card so if you need some ideas, just ask! Hedge­hog card? Yep! Cats? Duh! Dogs? C’mon. Cards from my grams? Of course! And don’t for­get, Galentine’s Day is real, don’t for­get to send your friends some love. This par­ty isn’t just for lovers any­more;-)

with love,

Blair.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Feb
2017

February 2017 Calendar of Events

Kards Unlimited February 2017 Holidays and Birthdays

It’s Feb­ru­ary and you know what that means: love is in the air! Ah, l’amour… Not to men­tion the bil­lion oth­er awe­some things we’re cel­e­brat­ing this mon­th. There’s Valentine’s Day, of course, but there’s also Ground­hog Day, Did You Fart? DayNation­al Sticky Bun Day, and Tell A Fairy Tale Day just to name a few. Read on to see all we’re in love with this mon­th! Read more »

1 Jan
2017

January 2017 Calendar of Events

kards-unlimited-january-2017-holidays-and-birthdays

Hi! Hap­py Jan­u­ary! We’re speed­ing into the future here, and we’ve got a lot to cel­e­brate this mon­th. 2017, Inter­na­tion­al Kiss A Gin­ger DayCheese Lovers Day and more! Read on to see what we’re cel­e­brat­ing this mon­th. Read more »

1 Dec
2016

December 2016 Calendar of Events

kards-unlimited-december-2016-holidays-and-birthdays

♫While the mer­ry bells keep ringing/May your every wish come true♫ It’s our absolute FAVORITE time of year: the hol­i­day freak­ing sea­son! We’ve got so many things to cel­e­brate this mon­th, besides the usu­al faves, like Christ­mas, Hanukkah, and Kwan­zaa. Read on to find out what’s get­ting our spir­its even high­er this mon­th! Read more »

23 Nov
2016

Top 10 Things We Are Thankful For!

thanks

Now more than ever we need to remind our­selves what we are thank­ful for and not take those things for grant­ed. So with­out fur­ther ado:

  1. Nerds. You make the world go round. Enthu­si­asm is the spice of life, in a Dune kind of way.
  2. Left­over Hal­loween can­dy. Rot­ting my teeth as we speak, and Star­burst are lit­er­al­ly fly­ing across the office at an alarm­ing and dan­ger­ous rate. 
  3. Books. But seri­ous­ly, can you even imag­ine life with­out? Don’t. Don’t try. It’s awful and cold and dark in that place. 
  4. Pets. Along with books, make life worth liv­ing. Some­times I look at my cats and get real­ly tripped out that this super fuzzy lit­tle crea­ture with legs and a face that exists on this plan­et is liv­ing in my house and likes to hang out with me. 
  5. Har­ry Potter/J.K. Rowl­ing. We’re pret­ty sure that Har­ry Pot­ter is 95% of what we talk about here at KU, and the oth­er 5% is usu­al­ly about remind­ing the males to use the bath­room spray in the employ­ee bath­room. (Note: We need more bath­room spray.)
  6. Each oth­er. We like to cre­ate a fam­i­ly here at Ku, and right now our staff is aces. We are real­ly lucky to have real­ly good peo­ple work­ing with us.
  7. Game of Thrones ref­er­ences.  Ok I lied, our con­ver­sa­tions here are 60% Har­ry Pot­ter and 40% GOT. We like to yell “YOU KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW!” at trainees. But in a nice way.
  8.  Star Wars ref­er­ences. Ok I lied again. Our con­vos our 50% Pot­ter, 20% GOT, and 1,000% Star Wars ref­er­ences. Most used: “the­se are the cards you’re look­ing for” and “that’s no (insert moon-like object).
  9. & 10. The last 2 are ded­i­cat­ed to YOU our won­der­ful and loy­al cus­tomers because I want to talk about you for more than as sen­tence. You are sin­cere­ly what makes us love com­ing to work every­day. Inter­act­ing with you about what you’re read­ing, watch­ing, eat­ing, and espe­cial­ly hear­ing you laugh, reminds us why we’re here. We have fun with each oth­er here, but it’s the cus­tomers that real­ly make it all worth it. 

Hap­py Thanks­giv­ing to you and your fam­i­lies, human and feline and canine and all. 

-Kards Unlim­it­ed

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