Tag Archives: 4th of july

Dog hiding Fireworks

Keeping your dogs safe and calm during fireworks

The 4th of July is upon us. That means family, fun, and fireworks. If you have a dog however, the fireworks part of the holiday can be a very stressful time for both you and your fur baby.

Veterinarians will tell you that July 3rd is usually one of the heaviest traffic days in their offices, with people coming in to get drugs to help calm their dogs. This is also the busiest time of the year for animal shelters, as more dogs are found wandering loose and frightened on July 4th than any other day of the year.

So what can you do? Most of the time, there simply is no way to completely calm a dog that is afraid of the loud bangs and booms associated with fireworks.  But if you prepare a bit in advance, as well as follow some simple tips during the fireworks themselves,  you can make the holiday a lot less stressful for both of you.

dog-5236559_6401. Get your dog plenty of exercise early in the day. They will be worn out and feel much calmer than if they had been inactive all day.

2. Keep your dog indoors during any fireworks, and if possible, with a human companion. You are your dogs best friend and the biggest source of comfort they have in life. Just the act of being there with them can dramatically lower the stress level.

snuggle-4717388_6403. Give your dogs a comfortable, secure place where they can feel safe. If they like a crate, make sure one is accessible and perhaps even cover it with a blanket. If they prefer to hide in a bathtub or under the bed, make sure the doors to those rooms are open. Remember, dogs are den dwellers and prefer small, enclosed areas.

4. Whenever possible, keep windows and blinds closed. Sometimes even the visual of the fireworks can disorient a dog.

5. Turn on the TV or some music for them. The sounds from what you are playing will help drown out the commotion that’s happening outside.

dog-610069_6406. Create a diversion. A frozen Kong or other long lasting treat is fun and will distract them from the activity outdoors as they focus on the special gift you gave them.

7. Act normal. Dogs can sense when something is off. Remain calm and happy even before the show so they don’t suspect that something is up.

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8. Keep them watered. When dogs are panicked, they pant a lot which is how they sweat. Make sure they have plenty of water to keep them cool and hydrated.

9Introduce a scent. Many natural and herbal retailers sell dog calming scents in a variety of forms. Read the reviews of the product you are considering before you purchase.

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10. Be understanding. The worst thing you can do is scold your dog for being afraid or force him/her from their secure spot. Let them ride it out their own way and things will return to normal much quicker.

The most important thing to remember is that during the 4th of July, dogs have a tendency to become escape artists. Make sure your dog has a collar with tags on, or better yet, have them micro-chipped. Should they pull a Houdini, your chances of getting them back dramatically increase.

Hopefully these tips will help the whole family avoid some unneeded stress and you can spend the holiday enjoying everything that comes along with it.

Happy 4th of July!

 

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Rainy Day BBQ Recipes for the Oven

Rain or Shine: BBQ Recipes for the Oven or Grill

Barbecue season has officially arrived! What’s more American than grilling up thick juicy cuts of meat in the great outdoors? The key to hosting a stress-free outdoor bash is to create a backup plan for a rainy day. Unexpected showers are frequent during these temperamental spring-to-summer days and sudden thunderstorms are common in the thick of summer. Rained out barbecues are stressful for a number of reasons, the primary concern being: what the heck are you going to do with all that food?!

Take the pressure off your party planning and have oven-friendly barbecue recipes on hand. If you can move your party indoors or safely tuck your crowd under a tent, you can “party on” even if your grill is out of play. These are our favorite oven-friendly barbecue recipes that can easily be thrown on a grill if the weather lets up!

6 Oven-Friendly Barbecue Recipes for a Rainy Day

Moist Oven BBQ Chicken for a Rainy Day

Super Moist Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken by Heather Likes Food

1. Super Moist Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken by Heather Likes Food

This recipe delivers as promised: chicken so tender you could cut it with a fork and all that smoky BBQ flavor your guests are craving — minus the grill. The secret to Heather’s recipe is the killer overnight marinade. Just be sure you don’t marinade for more than 24 hours! Chicken has a sweet spot and the meat could get a little funky. If the sun decides to make an appearance you can easily change course and throw this flavor-packed meat on the grill instead. Get the full recipe from Heather Likes Food here.

Oven-Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs by AllRecipes

2. Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs by AllRecipes

We’re talking fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth delicious pork ribs straight from the oven. Rain shouldn’t mean that you let all that flavor go to waste! The ground chipotle pepper is the key ingredient in this keeper from AllRecipes. Chipotle peppers have a smoky taste, so even from the oven the meat will taste like it was served fresh off the grill. Get the full recipe from AllRecipes here.

Juicy Oven Steak for a Rainy Day

Juicy Oven Steak by Weary Chef

3. Juicy Oven Steak by Weary Chef

Making steak in an oven sound sacrilegious, but when you’re without a grill and you have to feed a crowd: a host’s gotta do what a host’s gotta do. You can’t go wrong with this tasty steak recipe from Weary Chef. The beef comes out far more tender than it would from a grill and you can easily knock out multiple servings at once. Keep in mind with all of these recipes that the meat needs to rest for a period of 30 minutes before serving, so that gives you plenty of time to move various dishes in and out of the oven. Get the full recipe from Weary Chef here.

Garlic Shrimp Kabobs for a Rainy Day

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs by Damn Delicious

4. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs by Damn Delicious

We are huge fans of Damn Delicious over here and you will probably find one Chungah’s recipes in practically every food post from Pajama Company! If your barbecue is rained out and you have an ungodly amount of expensive jumbo shrimp burning a hole in your fridge, fear not! These flavor-packed Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs are roasted in the oven to perfection. The best part is that they can be served up in a flash in between other oven-barbecue dishes like chicken or steak. If the weather clears up, just throw them on the grill! This recipe is super versatile. Get the full recipe from Damn Delicious here.

BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven for a Rainy Day

BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven by Taste of Southern

5. BBQ Pulled Pork in the Oven by Taste of Southern

Were you planning on firing up the smoker this weekend only to have rain ruin your plans? Slow cook that Boston butt in your oven with this delicious pulled pork recipe from Taste of Southern. The recipe includes a homemade dry rub called “Steves Butt Rub” — and you if you can’t get behind that… What we love most about this recipe is that it pleases both sides of the BBQ fence by including a recipe for homemade “NC Eastern Style Vinegar-Based Sauce.” Pull out the sliders and keep the party going. Get the full recipe from Taste of Southern here.

Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks for a rainy day

Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks by Sweet C Designs

6. Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks by Sweet C Designs

Arguably everyone’s favorite: smoky, juicy, crispy drumsticks fresh off the grill. If Mother Nature has other plans for your barbecue menu, don’t panic! This simple recipe from Sweet C Designs will give you the juicy flavor packed chicken with a to-die-for crunchy crust — fresh from the oven. This recipe is loaded with BBQ-in-the-oven pro tips (“Don’t rush the magic!”) that you can apply to the other dishes on this list. Get the full recipe from Sweet C Designs here.

We hope you enjoy these recipes! All of us at The Pajama Company wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. 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.

Pajamas Made In America

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How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

How to Prepare Your Backyard for Summer Entertaining

Each year, spring comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Blooming trees are overtaken by lush green foliage and temperatures steadily climb as we cruise into summer at full speed. Summer brings sunshine, friends, and super fun outdoor gatherings. If you’re hoping your backyard becomes your neighborhood’s hot spot for barbeques, dinner parties, and July 4th celebrations, prepare your space with these pro tips.

Light Summer Pajamas

It’s heating up! We adore this summery ‘Made in America’ Flamingo pajama set from The Cat’s Pajamas.

7 Tips to Get Your Backyard Ready for Summer

1. Spring cleaning made easy.

A simple way to add some sparkle to your outdoor space is to give the patio and furniture a good scrub-down. Shave time off this process and rent a pressure washer from your local home improvement store. A pressure washer will blast away years of dirt and grime from any surface. Your patio furniture, windows, siding, fencing, deck, and any masonry will sparkle like the day they were installed — and you won’t even break a sweat! You won’t even have to get out of your pajamas.

2. Create a chef’s paradise.

The first step in entertaining is wanting to entertain. Create an inviting space where you and your family can cook, mix drinks, and socialize. First, give your grill a good deep clean to keep it running safely in tip-top shape. Consider investing in a patio-friendly kitchen island, so you can spread out your ingredients and comfortably have everything at your fingertips. Place the cooler or ice bucket next to the island so it can double as “the bar.” Guests will stop by for a drink and chat while you’re manning the grill. If there’s a garden bed nearby, it might the perfect spot for herbs. An herb garden will provide you with fresh ingredients for your favorite dishes and refreshments all summer long!

Lazy One Flapjack Kids Pajamas

Safety first! When treating your lawn, opt for eco-friendly pest and weed control so your little ones can safely enjoy the great outdoors!

3. Give the lawn a facelift.

A week or two before you plan to host your first backyard soiree, trim the grass, seed and fertilize bald spots, and spray for weeds. If you’re concerned about harmful chemicals, there are a host of “green” alternatives on the market today. Now you can keep your grass looking fresh while keeping your kids and pets safe. Even if you’re not in the mood to plant, weed and mulch your garden beds to give them a “fresh” appearance before your guests arrive. With these small adjustments, your yard will look like a manicured putting green.

4. Light it up!

Lighting is essential for creating a magical ambiance for summer outdoor gatherings. Pull out your ladder and check and replace the bulbs in your existing outdoor lighting. If your backyard is darker than you’d like, consider installing easy solar-powered lights that don’t require a power-source. Many quality solar brands have an impressive battery life and will last well into the night. Other options are battery-operated LED lanterns, that can be installed virtually anywhere with a weight-bearing hook.

5. Plan for pests.

With the warm weather comes all sorts of creepy crawlies. Again, there are plenty of eco-friendly options if you’d like to spray for insects like ants in the weeks before you entertain. Stock up on deet-free bug spray for guests and citronella candles or citronella oil burners. Another option for pest control is to plant lemongrass, lavender, and mint. Not only are these plants beautiful and functional, they also deter mosquitoes and gnats!

Creative Outdoor Seating

Get creative with your outdoor seating! This sleek modular bench can be used in a variety of ways.

6. Creative seating.

If you plan on entertaining a crowd throughout the season, having a set or two of stackable outdoor chairs tucked away in your shed or garage is a great idea. However, storage space can be an issue for many homes. In this case, get creative and choose seating that serves multiple purposes. For example, simple benches can seat many people, take up minimal space, and can also serve as a place to set a drink down. Cut logs are rustic and decorative, but can be used as either a seat or a side table. Think outside the box to make the most of your space!

7. Shade and shelter.

Summer makes us think of sunshine, but can turn at any moment — especially if you’re living in the Northeast! Whether it’s a sudden scorcher or an unexpected summer storm, be prepared with flexible shelter so your party isn’t crammed indoors or cancelled. Umbrellas with bases are an excellent solution as are “pop up tents,” which can be quickly assembled and easily stored.

We hope you find these tips useful! All of us at The Pajama Company wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. 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.

Pajamas Made In America

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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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Made in the USA!

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and we know you are gearing up for a festive holiday weekend of backyard barbecues, fireworks, boating, beach time, and all around family fun!  It’s all about celebrating our Independence and what really makes our country great!

We get asked about where our pajamas are made quite often.  And we know that like us, you look for opportunities to support fellow Americans.  We’re proud to tell you more about some of the brands we carry that produce their merchandise right here in the United States!

After all, this is just another way you can feel good in your pajamas!

Today though Friday, July 4th, enjoy 20% off our whole collection of American-made PJs!  

Enter MADEINAMERICA at checkout!  

The Cat’s Pajamas

This company sews its 100% cotton and flannel pajamas in the San Francisco are.  The Cat’s Pajamas is

committed to supporting the local community and to keeping jobs in the US.  Their line of knit sleepwear is made in Peru, but they hope to one day bring production to California  as well.

They are passionate about animals, but the funny thing about this company is that  despite their name, you won’t find a single cat at their headquarters, but instead two resident dogs!  I guess that explains these adorable lab pajama pants!

Click here to view The Cat’s Pajamas Collection.

 

Bedhead Pajamas

The Bedhead Pajama company – famous for its luxury cotton – designs and creates its line in house every year.  Each pair of pajamas is cut and sewn locally in Los Angeles, CA.  With its local production, the company has created over 70 jobs and counting.

Bedhead also contributes to their community by way of their partnership with Esperanza Community Housing Corporation.  They donating a percentage of all proceeds to the organization, and as well as offer good-paying job opportunities exclusively to the community.

Check out the entire Bedhead line here.

 

 

We also have two really fun collections of US-made gift pillows:

FGA

Craftsquatch

Happy birthday, America!

Photo Credit: Captain Kimo via Compfight cc

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