Fall Reading List, Best Autumn Novels to Read in Your Pajamas

Fall Reading List: Curl Up in your PJs with These Wistful Novels

The crisp fall weather inspires us to put on our warmest pajamas, curl up on the couch, and snuggle up with a soft blanket and a good book. Here we have listed our favorite fall reads across all genres. But what exactly constitutes a ‘fall read’?

When autumn sets in, the days get shorter and colder, making many people miss the carefree sun-filled days of summer. ‘Wistful’ is a word that is often used to describe books that give us a feeling of slight melancholy, usually brought on by nostalgia. Fall reminds us of childhood, school years, and signals that the holidays are just around the corner. Not all novels that remind us of fall take place in autumn. ‘Fall,’ in a feeling, is a mood that defines each of these moody classics.

Best Fall Novels to Read in Your Pajamas

Fall Reading List Pajamas Cider House Rules

1. The Cider House Rules by John Irving

The Cider House Rules is a classic coming-of-age novel set on an apple orchard in New England in the early 1900s through World War II. The story follows Homer Wells, an orphan who is trained as a medical assistant to orphanage director and obstetrician, Dr. Wilbur Larch. The novel follows Homer as he navigates his life as an adult outside the orphanage, where his idealist childhood views are put to the test. Between the coming-of-age storyline, lost loves, and the rustic setting in Maine, this classic will warm your soul.

Fall Reading List Pajamas Dead Poets Society

2. Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum

Have you ever read a book based on a movie? Not something you see often, but the novel Dead Poets Society is actually based on the 1989 film and published the same year. The story, set in 1959 New England, follows Todd Anderson through his senior year at an elite all-boys prep school where he encounters a new English teacher, John Keating. Keating challenges the boys to “make their lives extraordinary” in this touching tale about being true to yourself and taking control of your destiny. Carpe diem.

Fall Reading List Pajamas The Shining

3. The Shining by Stephen King

You can’t create a fall reading list without a ghost story and Stephen King, the king of horror, perfects the genre in his flawless telling of The Shining. This was his first hardback bestseller and the book’s success solidified King as the contemporary horror author. The Shining focuses on Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of a historic hotel in the remote Colorado Rockies. Jack’s son, Danny, possesses ‘the shining,’ psychic abilities that allow him to see the hotel’s horrific past. As fall passes and winter traps the family inside the hotel, the supernatural forces in the hotel cause Jack to slowly lose his mind, putting his family in incredible danger. Prepare to sleep with a light on after reading…

Fall Reading List Pajamas Pride and Prejudice

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s 1813 classic, Pride and Prejudice, follows the emotional development of young Elizabeth Bennet, who learns to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential in this humorous commentary on gender, education, marriage, and wealth. The cold, gray London fall sets the tone for the novel — sure to make you reach for your softest, warmest bathrobe while you settle in for a good long read.

Fall Reading List Pajamas Catcher in the Rye

5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Set in the 1950s, The Catcher in the Rye follows sixteen-year old Holden Caulfield as he abandons his prep school in Pennsylvania to go to New York City for three days. Written in the form a flashback, it’s clear that present-day Caulfield is narrating the story from a sanatorium. The book’s title says it all: the novel is about hanging on to your childhood for as long as you can. Set in autumn in New York, the plot alone will make readers nostalgic for the dreams of their youth.

Fall Reading List Pajamas Devil Wears Prada

6. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Moving away from the classics for a moment, The Devil Wears Prada makes this list because 1) what’s a reading list without a little ‘chic lit’ and 2) many fashion-forward individuals believe that the fall runway shows signal the true beginning of fall. This book follows protagonist Andrea “Andy” Sachs as she navigates a rocky year as the personal assistant for the editor of a popular fashion magazine in New York. The nightmarish job has a profound impact on her personal life and begs the question, how far are you willing to go to achieve your dreams? The Devil Wears Prada makes for excellent light reading before you and your pajamas get into bed for the night.

For more ideas for getting cozy in your PJs this fall, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Fall Sleepover Ideas

How to Throw a ‘Pumpkin Spice’ Themed Slumber Party

Three words: pumpkin spice everything. After an absolutely gorgeous summer, fall has finally arrived on the East Coast and temperatures are slowly starting to drop. With school back in session it’s the perfect time for a cozy slumber party, whether you’re in middle school or you’re in college. What better way to celebrate the season than in your favorite pajamas surrounded by all things pumpkin spice?

Not only is pumpkin spice the caffeinated beverage of choice for many this time of year, it creeps into our soaps, candles, and pastries too. The scent makes you feel like you’re hovering over a warm apple pie. To capture this feeling of warmth and comfort we’ve assembled a list of our coziest slumber party must-haves for the perfect fall pajama gathering.

8 Ideas for the Best Fall Slumber Party

1. A Soft and Snuggly Setup

In the designated sleeping area, whether it’s your living room or your dorm room, pull together all the softest, coziest blankets and pillows you can find. Drape them over sofas or arrange them in baskets or strategically placed stacks around the floor. All the soft layers and cushions will invite your guests to settle in and get comfortable for the night.

2. The Scent of the Season

Place ‘pumpkin spice’ air freshener (think plug-ins) or well-attended candles around the room. If you’re using candles, dim the lights to achieve the “autumn glow” effect of a fireplace. splurge on autumn-scented hand soap for the bathroom and stack your fluffy towels high for guests to use if they want to shower off the next morning.

Great Fall Party Ideas

3. Freshly Baked Fall-Themed Treats

Bake or purchase fall baked goods. Think apple or pumpkin pie, fruit-filled crumb bars, or cinnamon-kissed Snickerdoodle cookies. Making s’mores in the oven is another great option. Simple fall snacks include roasted nuts, caramel corn, soft-baked pretzels, and warm dips for your chips.

4. Warm Bellies with Hot Drinks

For drinks, consider warm or cold apple cider and hot chocolate — don’t forget the marshmallows! For the 21-and-over slumber parties (adults like to get cozy too!) mulled wine, sangria made with orange and cinnamon sticks, and hot toddies are a nice addition to the menu.

5. Cozy Fall Activities

There’s something about fall that brings back memories of childhood: the excitement of a new school year, meeting up with friends, Halloween and trick-or-treating, the holidays just around the corner. When planning activities for your child’s sleepover think of the classics: Twister or classic board games like Trouble, Life, Connect Four, and and Clue. These are still fun for teenagers and adults alike! Other adult options could be Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, or the latest card game craze: Cards Against Humanity. Don’t forget to load up on nail polish and magazines with cheezy quizzes and celebrity gossip!

6. Snuggle Up with These Wistful Fall Movies

Pop the popcorn and curl up with one or two of these cozy favorites. Kids movies, romantic comedies and everything in between: Hocus Pocus, Pets, Fantasia or Fantasia 2000, You’ve Got Mail, Good Will Hunting, Keeping The Faith, Rushmore, The Dead Poets Society, When Harry Met Sally, Rudy, Stepmom, Autumn in New York, Practical Magic, and Garden State to name a few. Of course there are millions of Halloween slasher films and psychological thrillers to choose from as well, if romcom’s aren’t your thing.

Adult Women Footie Pajamas for a Slumber Party

Navy Flannel Footy Pajamas from Big Feet Pajamas

7. Don’t Forget Your Jammies!

Fall is the beginning of pajama season. It’s the perfect time of year to break out your flannels for winter. Footie pajamas are still all the rage with the “big kids” reliving the comforts of their childhood. For your ‘pumpkin spice’ slumber party, you might want to think about a pair of pajamas with a fun fall print like these from PJ Salvage.

8. Wake Up to a Warm Fall Breakfast

Oven-baked “breakfast casseroles” are easy to make and can feed a crowd. There plenty of recipes online for various egg, sausage, and hashbrown casseroles, fresh toast, and oven-baked pancakes. For an easy breakfast, heat up frozen waffles and serve with loads of toppings — berries, jams, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce — a variety of muffins (don’t forget pumpkin!) and granola are other options to consider. This may be a great time for the hot chocolate to make a reappearance as a little pick-me-up before your guests head home.

For more ideas for getting cozy in your PJs this fall, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Fall Fun Ideas in Flannel Pajamas

Fall is More Fun in Flannel! Some Things Are Just Better in PJs

Summer has officially come to a close. It won’t be long before pajama season is in full swing. Crisp fall air, brisk mornings, chilly nights, crunchy leaves, and cozy blankets slowly steer us indoors before winter. Fall is a season that is based largely on the sense of smell and soft, warm textures. Just the thought of freshly baked goodies, ‘pumpkin spice’ scented everything, wool sweaters, cashmere scarves, and pillowy down comforters are enough to make you want to crawl back in bed for a long nap.

With our internal clock set to hibernate, it’s no wonder we don’t want to get out of our pajamas until April. Here is a list of our favorite fall activities that are far better when enjoyed in the comfort of our favorite flannel jammies.

Ideas for Fall Family Fun

PJ Salvage Women’s Coffee Time Flannel Pajama Set in Dove

8 Fall Activities That Are Better in Your PJs

1. Sipping Coffee in Bed

Whether you live in an old house or a drafty apartment, waking up in the wee hours before work can be a challenge. A chilly bedroom and cold floors aren’t exactly inviting you to get up and get ready for work. This is why many people opt to set their coffee timer and grab their cup of coffee to go — to go back to bed, that is. Keeping your PJs on and returning to your cocoon to caffeinate warms you up so you can muster up the strength to head into the shower.

2. A Good Book

After you’ve finished dinner and washed up, it’s time to slip into your pajamas and curl up with a good book. While reading isn’t a seasonal activity, there’s something extra relaxing about reading in your favorite chair under a cozy blanket when the evening chill has set in.

3. Late Night Pie

In the fall we can’t seem to go a week without a baked good landing in our home. Maybe you love to bake or you have friends or family who can’t wait to bake the first apple pie of the season. Either way, odds are there is a pie in your fridge that’s calling your name. Eventually you’re bound to sneak down to the kitchen in the wee hours to warm up a slice. Wrapped up in your favorite flannels with a belly full of warm pie, you’re sure to return to bed sleepy and satisfied.

4. Bubble Baths

After a long, stressful day at work, nothing melts the day away and takes the autumn chill out of your bones like a long hot bubble bath. As the water starts to turn lukewarm, hopping out of the tub and into a pair of soft flannel jammies lets you to take the warmth and comfort of a bubble bath with you all the way to bed.

5. Weekend Brunch

Weekends are for sleeping in and staying in your PJs for as long as possible — all weekend, if possible. Summer brunches are filled with fresh fruits and light fare, but by autumn your morning melon is replaced with french toast smelling of cinnamon and hot stacks of pancakes drenched in maple syrup. The only thing that could possibly make either of those things better is enjoying them in your flannels. With your jammies on you can be as warm and cozy on the outside as you are on the inside.

6. Wine and a Movie

As the temperatures cool and we get deeper into our fall hibernation, going out on the town becomes less and less appealing. Enjoying a movie with a generous glass of red on a Friday night, wrapped up in a blanket or a bathrobe, sounds like a better use of your time.

7. Evening Cocoa

Cocoa, tea, cider, a hot toddy — whatever your poison, it’s better in your PJs. Curling up by the fire or by the glow of your latest Netflix binge with a warm ‘mug of fall’ in your hands will instantly relax you. Cocoa taps into comforting childhood memories and the cinnamon apple smell of cider provides instant stress relief. Treat yourself to a sip of something sweet in your pajamas this fall.

8. Dinner by The Fire

Whether it’s the roar of your fireplace or the twinkle of candlelight, enjoying your takeout by the glow of a fire, no matter the size, makes your rushed after-work meal instantly cozy. Turning down the lights will also help you decompress before heading off to bed, allowing you to fall asleep faster. As an added bonus, research has shown that sitting by a fire may actually help reduce blood pressure. When coupled with the calming effects of your favorite PJs, you’ll be stress-free and off to dreamland in no time.

For more ideas for getting cozy in your PJs this fall, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Back to College with These Dorm-Ready Pajama Looks

8 Classic Pajama Looks for Anywhere on Campus

Long after you graduate from college, you will feel nostalgic excitement when you spot a soon-to-be college freshman roaming the aisles of a department store, cart packed full of storage bins, towels, and twin sheets. When you leave the comforts of home, your dorm room becomes a cave of comfort.

After a few months, the dorm itself becomes more like home: packed with friends and familiar faces, sharing takeout in the lounge, watching a favorite movie with a roommate, late night study sessions. Students develop different routines and schedules and the dorm becomes a buzzing hub of activity, just as a house is for families.

A person’s idea of home revolves around one key element: comfort. One of the classic comforts of home is your ability to wear pajamas anywhere you go. Check out our PJ “Look Book” below for ideas on how to stay cozy, calm, and comfortable anywhere on campus.

The Back-to-College Pajama Look Book

Women's Pajama Pants for Back-to-College

Boxercraft Black Stripe Lux Jogger

1. The “I’m Running Late for Class” Look. The line for the shower was six people deep and you finally got your turn — there was even hot water this time! Now you’re sprinting back to your dorm room in your bathrobe pick out a stylish outfit and do your hair with the 10 minutes you have left to get to class… or pull on the pajamas that are already on your bed, throw on a hoodie, and head out the door? No brainer.

Women's Onesie for Back-to-College

Big Feet Pajamas Adult Navy Plush Hooded One Piece Footy

2. The “It’s Too Cold for Jeans” Look. It’s a winter wonderland! And by winter wonderland we mean sleet and freezing rain sloshing around in a frosty snow globe. Your class is across campus and life is good underneath your fluffy, warm down comforter. The thought of pulling on a pair of cold, stiff jeans isn’t the motivation you need to leave your cocoon. Taking a hot shower and zipping yourself into a pair of flannel one-piece footie PJs that feel more like a sleeping bag than actual clothes? That’ll do the trick.

Unisex Back-to-College Pajama Pants

Boxercraft Red and Black Plaid Flannel Pajama Pant

3. The “But It’s Raining” Look. Wet, cold, foggy: gross. You’re already going to have to navigate puddles and maneuver an umbrella when it’s raining sideways. Throw a jacket over these cozy flannel pants, slip on some dry rain boots, and you’re ready to swim to Organic Chemistry.

Dorm Life College Women's Boxers

Boxercraft Fushia Dot Flannel Bitty Boxer

4. The “We Don’t Have A/C in Our Dorm and It’s 96 Degrees Outside” Look. If you’re sharing a hot tin can with 300 other co-ed sardines it can get a little stale and stuffy by springtime. After you’ve spent the night sweating next to your desk fan, it might be time to cool off in some breezy boxers in the fresh morning air.

Comfy Slippers for Dorm Life, Back to College

Fuzzy Friends “Tiger” Slippers from Aroma Home

5. Finals Footwear. What day is it? Is it still nighttime? Where are the coffee filters? All questions you find yourself asking during dreaded finals week. This is not the week for real clothes. Or showering. Or sleeping. Or socializing. No finals week zombie walk is complete without a pair of comforting, fuzzy slippers. Slip these on, grab a slice of cold pizza, and knock out that test.

Plush Women's Robe for Back-to-College

PJ Salvage “Stars” Women’s Plush Robe in Aqua

6. The “That Party Was Epic But I Need 10 More Hours of Sleep” Look. The party is over and you’re feeling less than peppy in the AM. You don’t want to leave bed, but the cafeteria stops serving bacon at 11. Compromise: a bathrobe is essentially a comforter you can wear. Win, win.

Back-to-College Extra Wide Leg Pajama Pants

Boxercraft Women’s Navy Stripe Margo Loungepant

7. The “We Can’t Afford to Go Out Tonight” Look. When your budget looks like it’s about to be blown, it’s time to rally the troops for a binge-worthy Netflix marathon. Order a pizza and get comfortable in a pair of super soft, extra wide-leg pajama pants. It’ll feel like you’re watching TV in bed, even though you’re surrounded by ten of your closest, brokest friends.

Unisex Sushi Pajama Pants for Back to College

The Cat’s Pajamas Women’s “Sushi” Cotton Pajama Pant in White

8. The “It’s Been a Rough Week” Look. Pajamas, above all, are a security blanket. Whether it’s a breakup, roommate drama, or stress from balancing school and life with your new internship, sometimes we just need to hibernate on the weekend. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate (or noodles), turn on a Law and Order marathon, and shut off your phone. Put on a pair of PJs in the most fun, outrageous pattern you can find. You’ll be feeling like yourself again by Monday.

Embrace every pajama-filled, pizza-laden, coffee-saturated, sleep-deprived moment of your college experience — and good luck to the class of 2021! For the latest in dorm fashion, visit us at www.thepajamacompany.com/dorm-ready.

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Six Pajama-Perfect Careers

Do you ever wish you could have one blissful day of wearing your pajamas to work? Starched suits with bland ties, high heels, dress pants, button downs, blazers. All seem designed to confine and limit personality. Whether the requirement is business casual or super formal, the rules of what to wear in a professional environment can make getting up in the morning harder than ever.

We all have moments where passion dips and the boring side of a career threatens to take over. For some jobs, it would be wise to set aside social norms in favor of shaking things up.

6 Pajama-Perfect Careers

  1. Programmers

The world already thinks of you as basement-dwelling mega hackers. Why not live up to that belief and roll right out of bed wearing your finest pair of pajamas? Arrive at your Silicon Valley position with a soy latte and ignore any shocked stares.

  1. Postal Carriers

There’s a reason most mail delivery trucks have no doors. What better way to show off the latest in sleepwear fashion? Plus, it’ll give you a great talking point in the community as you deliver Amazon Prime packages.

  1. Writers

This one’s essentially a no-brainer. Serious scribes don’t need to dress up to ponder their work in progress. Ties stifle creativity.

  1. Doctors

You spent years toiling to get through undergrad, med school, internship, and fellowship. You’ve worked hard and you deserve to treat yourself, so throw any expectations out the window. Besides, you hardly sleep. It’s only fair. (This is especially appropriate if you’re a pediatrician.)

  1. Entrepreneurs

It’s your business and chances are you have launched in your own home office. You’re the boss so your style sets the trend for your employees. Here at The Pajama Company, we think working in pajamas is key to productivity.

  1. Poker Players

How can anyone keep their poker face when their opponent is dressed for bed? This strategy will help you maintain your edge as you raise the stakes.

 

All silliness aside, changing your clothing really can help you improve your mindset. Efficiency is as much about passion as it is about skill. If something is lacking in your professional life, consider taking a risk. It could be the change you need to work better and have a more satisfying nine-to-five experience.

 

 

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Made in America: Grilling Ideas for 4th of July

Made in America: ‘American’ Marinades for The 4th of July

What’s more American than hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cold beer? None of those things, actually. “Hot dogs” or frankfurters originated in Frankfurt, Germany, where a similar pork sausage was served. The hamburger is a deviant of a dish served in Hamburg, Germany in the 1800s. Beer? Originated in Egypt and Iran and was spread throughout Europe by German and Celtic tribes. Apple pie originated in the Netherlands in the 1500s. French fries… well, you get the idea.

This weekend, America will be 241 years young. Our traditions and our culinary history are defined by our immigrant culture. Even formalized barbeque started on the shores of the Caribbean. While these traditions may have started overseas, they are now woven into the tapestry of our nation. Key ingredients in a special sauce that makes America, America.

Given that a majority of our Independence Day traditions take place on the grill, we thought it would be fun to try these ‘Made in America’ marinades with that are inspired by various drops in our country’s melting pot. Marinate meat for a minimum of 30 minutes to as long as overnight. Happy 4th!

8 Traditional ‘American’ Marinades for Your Independence Day BBQ

1. Irish-American Whiskey Marinade

Irish immigrants first arrived in America around the year 1820 and the first Irish-American whiskey, The Emerald, was made in the U.S. in 1865. This whiskey marinade is fantastic on steak or hamburgers.

  • 1 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 1 – 1 ½ oz. soy sauce
  • S1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • a few grinds black pepper

2. Summer Italian-American Marinade

The first large rush of Italian immigrants to the U.S. was also in 1820. By the 1930s, Italian Americans were the leading producers of grapes in California. Many well-known wine brands such as Mondavi, Carlo Rossi, Petri, Sebastiani, and Gallo came from those early enterprises. The marinade below is excellent on grilled chicken or fish.

  • 1 ¾ c. dry white wine
  • ½ c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced red onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp. crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. Kosher salt

3. Mexican-American Carne Asada Marinade

Mexican American history spans 400 years (yes, older than the United States!) and varies from region to region in the U.S. In 1900, there were more than 500,000 Mexican-Americans living in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California, and Texas. With the influx came chipotle (or smoke-dried jalapeno) peppers — the primary ingredient in adobo sauce. This marinade is fantastic for Carne Asada, or grilled flank steak.

  • ¾ c. orange juice
  • ½ c. lemon juice
  • ⅓ c. lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ c. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped canned chipotle pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • ½ c. olive oil

4. Haitian-American Epis Marinade or Base

In the French colony of Saint-Domingue, France tried to reintroduce slavery in 1804 to a revolt by former slaves. Saint-Domingue was declared the Republic of Haiti. Many of the wealthy colonists fled and took their Haitian slaves with them to New Orleans. Wealthy Haitian freedmen also immigrated, seeking to cultivate their own plots of land in South Florida. “Epis” means “the all-soaked” is used as a base or marinade in most Haitian meats, in rice blends, soups, and stews. This incredibly flavorful marinade is so versatile it can be used on poultry, fish, or beef.

Blend:

  • 10 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 c. cilantro
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 3 scallion stalks
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 tsp. clove powder
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice (1 lime)
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Vinegar

5. Greek-American Souvlaki Marinade

Greek immigrants have been colonizing in America since the late 1700s in Florida. By 1866, the community was so numerous that America had established its first Greek consulate in New Orleans. Souvlaki is a dish of skewered meat and vegetables, typically served with grilled bread or pita with various garnishes and sauces or as a dish with a side of fried potatoes. This marinade is a great on just about anything, but really pops on grilled chicken!

  • ⅓ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

6. Korean-American BBQ Marinade

In 1903, the first group of Korean laborers came to Hawaii on January 13 (now known annually as Korean American Day). Between 1904 and 1907, roughly 1,000 Korean immigrants entered the mainland from Hawaii through San Francisco. After the annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910, Korean migration to the U.S. came to a full stop. It wasn’t until 1952 that opportunities were more open to Asian Americans, enabling Korean Americans to move out of enclaves and into middle-class neighborhoods. With Korean immigration came Bulgogi or “Korean BBQ.” This tangy marinade is beautiful on grilled short ribs. The longer you marinate, the better!

  • ½ c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 ½ tbsp. raw or turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ c. chopped scallions

7. Israeli-American Date Marinade

This recipe actually came from a collection of marinades suggested for Israeli Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut), so it’s a fitting marinade for the 4th! Israelis began migrating to the United States shortly after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. Date honey or date syrup (silan) was first brought to Israel by Iraqi Jews and is used similarly to molasses in a number of dishes. There are a number of recipes online for making your own or you can purchase silan online from websites like Amazon.com. This marinade pairs very well with a smoky grilled chicken and is best if left to marinate overnight.

  • 4 tbsp. silan (date syrup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. apple vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

8. Jamaican-American Jerk Chicken Marinade

Jamaicans were originally brought to the United States as slaves in 1838 with the explosion of the sugar plantations in European colonies in the Caribbean. That said, the first immigration wave for Jamaicans in America wasn’t until the 1960s. Presently, most Jamaican-Americans and immigrants reside in New York City. This dish might very well already be on your grilling menu. Grilled jerk chicken dates back to 1655, likely earlier, standing the test of time.

  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • ¼ c. fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

We wish you and your family a safe and happy Independence Day! Like many Americans, we look for opportunities to support the American worker and American entrepreneur. We’re proud to tell our customers about the brands we carry that produce 100% of their merchandise in the United States.

For more inspiration for family activities or gift ideas, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Create the Ultimate Outdoor Movie Experience in Your Backyard

Create the Ultimate Outdoor Movie Experience in Your Backyard

Who says family movie night must be an indoor activity? Sure, it is easy to load a movie on your television, put on some comfy pajamas, and curl up on the couch with a big bowl of buttery popcorn….and if it is a cold, rainy night, go for it! But as the weather warms, your backyard beckons. There are so many ways to enjoy the fresh air of spring and warm nights of summer..

Did you know you can transform your backyard into an outdoor theater? With a few simple steps, you can create the ultimate outdoor movie experience for your family. Here’s how:

Step 1: Determine the best location in your backyard.

Before you move your equipment outside, you need to determine where to set it up. Is there an electrical outlet nearby? Will the reflection of a street light or porch light make it hard to see the movie screen? Is there enough room for comfortable seating with enough distance from the screen? These are things to consider and work out before you begin setting up your movie screen.

Step 2: Set everything up.

Once you’ve determined where to set up, you can turn this idea into reality. You’ll need a projector, DVD player, speakers, and a movie screen. For the movie screen, you can look for a good deal on a retractable projector screen, or you can make one yourself. The best DIY screen is one made with a crisp white sheet attached to a dark fabric backing. This provides clear, sharp images. For seating, you can use outdoor lawn or reclining chairs, inflatable mattresses, or even simply lay some comfortable blankets on the ground.

Step 3: Create your ultimate movie night menu.

A movie is much more fun with good food. For anyone with kids, hot buttery popcorn, movie-sized sodas, and candy bars are really all you need to create the perfect outdoor movie menu. But, if you want to incorporate dinner into the movie experience, grill up some hot dogs, burgers, or whatever your family enjoys. Just keep it simple and try to stick with finger foods.

Step 4: Choose a movie to watch.

Now, this may be the easy or not-so-easy part. That depends on how agreeable your family is on movies. Of course, it is really great if you all agree, but if you don’t, there are other ways to decide on one. You can write your choices on pieces of paper, put them all in a jar and draw one. Do rock, paper, scissors or some other “fair” way to choose the movie. And don’t worry, even if your kids fuss a little about losing, it will soon be forgotten because this is more about the experience than the actual movie anyways.

Step 5: Put on your favorite PJs, head out back, and enjoy the ultimate movie experience.

Finally, once you’ve got it all setup, in the best outdoor location and have chosen your movie and food, it is time to enjoy. So, everybody put on your favorite PJs (and for a real treat, go with matching family pajamas – your little ones will love it), grab some blankets and pillows, and head out back for a magical night of family entertainment.

And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. As you set up your ultimate movie experience, there may be some challenges such as finding the extension cord…or the dog eating your little one’s hot dog when she isn’t looking. But take heart, it is all a part of the experience. When your children grow up, and they will, precious memories like these are the ones they will remember, laugh about, and cherish for many years to come.

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Father's Day Activities He'll Love

10 Wild Father’s Day Activities He’ll Actually Love

Father’s Day is fast approaching so put away the “honey do” list, tell the trash take itself out, and let the grass grow. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to gift-giving: there are the tech dads, the golf dads, the cooking dads, the sports dads, and the dads that would love to spend the whole day with their feet up with a cold beer in hand.

Then there are the on-the-go dads. These are the guys who can’t stop moving. The men who come home after a long day at work and chase the kids around the house, tinker with their latest project in the garage, or try a new marinade on the grill. For the adventurous family man out there with boundless energy, we’ve created a list of Father’s Day activities he’s sure to enjoy.

Top 10 Father’s Day Ideas for the Adventurous Dad

1. The Guided Fishing Trip

If you live near a river, lake, or the ocean, consider a guided fishing tour. Even the hobbyist can rent all the necessary equipment including a boat and a guide for a day. A fishing day trip would make a great joint gift for a group of dads or the entire family could enjoy a day on the water.

2. Camping

That camping trip he’s always wanted to take with the family? This might be the time to throw it together for a night or a weekend at a local park. If your kiddos are too little to make the trek, a cookout and camping in the backyard would be a blast as well. Don’t forget to unplug, play some board games, and stay up late eating s’mores of course.

3. Go Kart Racing

For the man with a need for speed a family Go Kart trip would make a great gift. Or leave the kids at home and challenge your hubby to a little 1-on-1. He’ll definitely be surprised.

4. Laser Tag

Let him feel like a kid again with a few round of laser tag. The family can play as a team or split up and get competitive. If this isn’t something you’ve done before, we can assure you you’ll be back again. Even the more buttoned-up members of your family won’t be able to help but let loose and enjoy a little childish fun.

5. Brewery Tour

For the beer-loving papa, it doesn’t get much better than a brewery tour. Tours include a behind-the-scenes look at the equipment, barrel aging facility, and in some cases a chat with a brewer. All tours have samples and most have food of some sort. The best part is that breweries are very family oriented and kid-friendly, so there’s no need to get a sitter.

6. Amusement Park

An amusement park, county fair, or carnival are perfect Father’s Day activities for the man who loves to act like a kid with his kids. Ride roller coasters, compete for prizes at game booths, and eat cotton candy until you feel a little sick — it’s all part of the experience! By the day’s end your family will have created lasting memories.

7. Batting Cages

If dad was a jock in high school consider a Father’s Day activity where he can show off his skills. A trip to the batting cages, driving range, or day passes to a nearby field house for soccer or basketball would be a great way for him to blow off steam and unwind.

8. Road Trip

Does he always talk about that road trip he took in college? Plan a weekend getaway to a nearby location. Whether it’s just the two of you or the family, make it extra special by renting a classic car or one that would be fun for him to drive.

9. Glow Golf

Miniature golf is fun and all, but have you tried glow golf? Some states have indoor miniature golf that glows in the dark for a fun, disorienting, challenge. This is another Father’s Day activity that the kids will really enjoy with their dad. Plus it gives your man a chance to work on his short game.

10. Sporting Event (but not the ones you’re thinking of)

Tickets to professional games are expensive and require quite a bit of advanced planning, usually with some travel involved. If you’re not able to or interested in going that big, consider other sporting events that might be local and fun for dad. Minor league baseball, horse racing, or a local roller derby league could all make for fun and memorable Father’s Day outings.

At the end of such an adventurous day, dad’s going to want to relax. Surprise him with a new robe or comfortable pajamas before he settles in for the night. For more gift ideas or inspiration for family activities, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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how-to-host-a-sleepover-pajama-company

The Sleepover Survival Guide: 10 Tips for an Easy Sleepover

“Can I have a sleepover?” The question will arrive sooner than you think. You’ll hesitate, accept, and wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wondering what you agreed to. Nighttime routines with your own children are exhausting enough, much less with several more! There’s no need to panic. We’ve compiled the best ideas for making through the night.

How to Host a Sleepover

1. Don’t bite off more than you, or your child, can chew.

While your child may think she’s ready to have five of her friends over to the house for a sleepover, it’s ultimately up to you to decide. Questions to ask yourself:

  • — Is she ready to entertain a group of her peers?
  • — Does she do well on 1-on-1 playdates?
  • — Will she depend on you to come to the rescue if partygoers aren’t having a great time? 
  • — Do her friends at school already have preteen drama? Would that drama spill over into the evening?

Start with a 1-on-1 sleepover. Test the waters for both of you. Once you have successfully hosted a couple of events and both you and your child feel comfortable, then you can build up to larger numbers. If possible, only allow your child to invite children that you’ve interacted with during a playdate. If these are actually close friends, you should have met them before. Try to keep the number of attendees even to avoid the “odd child out” scenario, especially if you think the children will be playing games in teams.

Most importantly make the pick up and drop off times crystal clear to the parents of the participating children. You’ll want all of the partygoers promptly out the door the next morning.

2. Don’t stress about scheduling every minute with activities.

Let your child lead the charge. Ask what they like to do with their friends and how they plan on spending their time. By the age of 9 kids are used to entertaining each other during recess, in between classes, and at lunchtime. They are fully capable of making conversation amongst themselves. If left to their own devices, they’ll invent their own sleepover games just like they invent games on the playground.

If would feel better prepared with a few ideas at your fingertips, here are 7 Awesome Sleepover Games you can try.

3. Keep the sleepover to one room.

Decide where everyone will be during the sleepover and let your child know ahead of time that this is where all the activities for the night will be taking place. This keeps the mess and the noise contained one area and leaves the rest of the home for parents and other siblings to enjoy — away from the madness.

4. Stock up on sleepover movies.

Sit down with your child and come up with a list of ideas for different movies to stream or rent at a nearby RedBox. Keep them light to avoid potential nightmare drama.

Let your child make it known ahead of time what the main movie will be and have a few others queued up if they’d like have a movie marathon, or in the event your child is having a hard time hosting. Here are Our Favorite Summer Sleepover Movies to get you started.

easy sleepover snack ideas

5. Easy sleepover snacks.

It really is incredible that Madison’s mom made princess-themed cupcakes to go with a showing of Frozen, but if you don’t have the skills, time, or energy to whip up two-dozen cupcakes — don’t worry about it! The kids are excited about spending the night away from their parents, without a bedtime, and with as much screen time and Doritos as they stomach.

Order a few pizzas and dinner is served. You can pick up cupcakes at the grocery store for a “princess slumber party” or grab an economy sized bag of pizza rolls for a showing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With food allergies accounted for, a readily inexpensive supply of soda, chips, popcorn, or candy is sure to make any kiddo happy.

If you want to get really crazy, mix your own party punch with fruit juices and give it a name like Fizz Punch or Rocket Fuel to make the event feel a little more special for the kids. You can even make the punch with low-sugar, no-sugar added, or organic juices and club soda if that’s more your style.

6. Check-in as often as you’d like.

You are going to be responsible for other people’s children. This is not a responsibility that any parent takes lightly. We also don’t want to embarrass our child with frequent check-ins. Sometimes we just need to hear it: no, you’re not being paranoid.

Feel free to pop in every 30 minutes or hover quietly outside a door to listen for signs of drama. It’s better air on the side of caution, especially if both you and your child are new to hosting sleepovers and you have children who you don’t know in your home.

Once you have a few more sleepovers under your belt you may feel better about increasing the stretch of time between check-ins. It’s also acceptable to make your presence known by walking into the room to replenish snacks or beverages. For some kids, knowing there is an adult nearby is reassuring when they’re away from home.

7. Encourage a “bedtime.”

Make it known to your tiny house guests what time dinner will be served, what time you’re starting the movie, and at what time lights-out will occur. Make it clear that they are to lower their voices so the rest of the house can sleep. Depending on ages of course, we’d recommend lights out by 11pm but have them get comfortable in their pajamas (if they don’t arrive with them on) as soon as possible.

Nightlights are inexpensive and can be purchased in packs of two or three so you can keep a bathroom, hallway, or party room dimly lit. Other options are flashlights and battery-operated camping lanterns.

8. When a sibling feels left out.

Feelings may get hurt when one sibling gets to host a sleepover and another does not, especially with the younger set who hasn’t aged into these activities yet. See if a sibling can go see a movie with a friend’s family or relative that night. A sleepover at grandma and grandpa’s might also be an option. If not, let younger siblings sleep in a sleeping bags in your bedroom for their own “sleepover.” Rent a movie they would like to watch on another television, tablet, or device if that’s a possibility. This would also be a great time to introduce a new coloring book, craft, or activity to your other child or children.

9. Cereal for breakfast.

Step away from the Pinterest French Toast Bake with Freshly Whipped Cream. Like a mother with an infant, you’ve likely been straining to hear signs of distress all night, ready to pounce like a mama bear. Now you and the kids are tired. If they’re old enough, set out a continental breakfast the night before so they can help themselves, or at least make it easier for you to dish out.

Line up cereal, store bought muffins or pastries on the counter and make milk and orange juice clearly visible and accessible in the fridge. For easy clean up, use disposable plates and bowls.

10. Teach your child to clean up after their sleepover.

Your child is going to wiped the next day, but make sure they participate in cleaning up after their party. They need to know how much work goes into hosting and what will be required of them when they host at their home in the future. Even the youngest children are perfectly capable of throwing away discarded napkins, candy wrappers, and paper cups or running a vacuum.

After they’re finished tidying up, let them have a lazy afternoon with the rest of the family to recuperate. You all earned it.

For more tips and ideas for sleepover fun, visit The Pajama Company on our blog or check us out on Facebook.

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What is your Pajama Style?

What Is Your Pajama Style?

Ever wondered what your ultimate pajama style might be? Answer these 6 questions and you will find your match!

My favorite drink on a winter night is:

a) Wine, as usual

b) Milk & Cookies

c) Cosmopolitan

d) Hot chocolate

My ideal vacation is:

a) Backpacking through the Amazon

b) Disneyworld

c) New York City

d) A cabin in the woods

My favorite movies are…:

a) Sci-fi thrillers

b) Classic Disney, animated

c) Musicals

d) Romantic Comedies

My favorite outfit is:

a) Sundress + flats

b) Oversized tee, leggings + flip flops

c) Little black dress + heels

d) T-shirt, jeans + Converse

My favorite meal is:

a) Tacos

b) Mac + cheese

c) Arugula salad + chicken

d) Roast with potatoes + carrots

My friends would describe me as:

a) Free-spirited, flexible and on-the-go

b) Young at heart, energetic, FUN!

c) Organized, prompt, dependable

d) A good listener, laid-back, an old soul

 

Mostly A’s: (Nightshirts) You are a nightshirt kind of gal. You can’t be bothered with keeping track of matching pieces and you certainly don’t want to be bound up by footed pajamas or sweaty flannels. You are a free bird ready to tackle the world to the beat of your own drum!

emerson somedaysmodel200

Mostly B’s: (Footed Pajamas) Footed pajamas are your jam. You like being cozy and let’s face it, you are a kid at heart. You see the obvious benefit to wearing your blanket (hello, no need for socks!) and you are too confident to care what anyone thinks!

bigfeet-purplefleece

Mostly C’s: (Matching Set) Miss matchy-matchy! You are orderly and enjoy the benefits of a clutter-free life (you probably even have Tupperware that matches!). You are trendy no matter where you go, even in your own bedroom!

lazy navyclassicfam340

Mostly D’s: (Warm Flannels) The comfy zone is where you like to hang. Fireplaces and hot chocolate are at the top of your list for winter must-haves. You rock the traditional flannel look (and slippers?) because being cold is never in style!

pjsal coffeemodels

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