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Summer Lounging: 12 Mocktail Recipes to Stay Hydrated

It’s August and it’s hot. Long, hot, humid summer days can have the same effect on us as a blistering cold winter day and we go into a hibernation of sorts. We recline on the couch with a good book and the A/C blasting, recline in a rocker on the porch, or find a nice shady spot in the park to take a nap. Summers are ideal for lazy afternoons spent lounging in your flimsiest, featherlight cotton pajamas.

The heat zaps both the energy and the water from our bodies. Even if you’re relaxing in air conditioning, it’s more important than any other time to stay hydrated. This replacing skipping a “refreshing” mojito or ice cold beer with a few glasses of ice water every now and again. If you want to enjoy a seasonally festive beverage while warding off heat stroke, give these healthy mocktail recipes a try.

Munki Munki Champagne Dreams Pajama Set

Munki Munki Champagne Dreams Pajama Set

Healthy and Hydrating Summer Mocktail Recipes

1. Raspberry-Lime Rickey Slushies

This recipe calls for gin, but the liquor can easily be omitted for a refreshing summer mocktail. Raspberries’ juicy, sweet flavor peaks from late june through August, so this sweet frozen treat is in season. Get the recipe from myrecipes.com.

2. Cucumber-Mint Limeade

There are few things more refreshing than the combination of fresh cucumber and cool mint. This limeade recipe leverages both in a perfectly balanced summertime cocktail that’s fit for sipping in a shorty robe on your back porch. Get the recipe from intheraw.com.

3. Green Juice Cocktail

This resort-ready green juice mocktail is from The Ranch, a world-renowned detox spa and fitness center — so pull out your eye masks and unwind. Melon and apple add a natural sweetness, celery and ginger add a detoxifying bite, and sparkling water gives the beverage a cocktail-esque fizz. Get the recipe from Popsugar.

4. Sweet Heat Arnold Palmer

This is a spicy twist on the classic lemonade-iced tea hybrid. The addition of a habanero chile balances the sweetness in this summer favorite. The recipe calls for quite a bit of sugar, so experiment with reducing the amount by at least a third to make it a more healthful beverage. Get the recipe on myrecipes.com.

5. Black Cherry Basil Mocktail

This fruity, refreshing drink takes the edge off even the hottest summer days. The fresh basil offsets the sweetness of the black cherry in this mocktail, creating a killer combination that you won’t be able to stop sipping. Get the recipe from wickedspatula.com.

Munki Munki Strawberry Pajama Set

Munki Munki Strawberry Pajama Set

6. Frosted Strawberry Limeade

Summer is for lounging and it’s also for frozen drinks! Rather than treating yourself to a well-tequila mix in the frozen drink machine at your local watering hole, why not treat your body right with this Frosted Strawberry Limeade. This smoothie, loaded with goodies like frozen strawberries, banana, and cashews, would make for a great meal on a hot afternoon. Get the recipe from Healthy Happy Life.

7. Blood Orange and Ginger Soda

Mint is, without a doubt, one of the most refreshing flavors in anything — especially a cold beverages. The combination of cool mint with the heat of ginger and the sweet tang of blood oranges makes for a perfectly balanced glass. Get the recipe from my recipes.com.

8. Copa Verde Mocktail

This is another mocktail that could double as lunch on a sweltering summer day. Avocado, fresh herbs, and refreshing lime are blended and spiked with ice cold club soda for a healthy, delicious treat. Perfect for sipping in your favorite summer pajamas on a Saturday night in.  Get the recipe from The Merry Thought.

9. Tomato Peach Spritzer

You read that correctly. This is probably what “V8 Splash” was going for when they launched their brand… Veggies and fruits combine in this surprisingly delicious mocktail. Tomatoes, peaches, ginger, and ginger ale make this drink an ode to summer. Get the recipe from Vegetarian Times.

10. Ginger Beer Mojito

Enjoy the mojito without the hangover. This recipe calls for rum but it can easily be omitted. The key to making this recipe work is high quality ginger beer. Fentiman’s is a great brand. Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

11. Aqua Fresca Trio

These are the perfect drinks to serve at a summer afternoon gathering or non-boozy brunch. Loaded with colorful fresh fruit, these mocktails as a beautiful as they are delicious. Whether you choose the strawberry lemon fizz, citrus peach spritzer, or coconut raspberry lemon, each of these options has Summer written all over it. Get the recipes from Healthy Happy Life.

12. Strawberry Orange Mango Kombucha Mocktails

Using kombucha instead of alcohol makes this drink immune-system-and-belly-friendly, since the brew is packed with probiotics. Mangoes are also loaded with healthy, delicious fiber. This is truly a mocktail you can feel great about. Get the recipe from The Roasted Root.

For more summer recipes and ideas for fun in the sun visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Cool Cotton Pajamas for Summer

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11 Best Summer Beach Reads

11 Best End-of-Summer Beach Reads

It’s never too late for rest and relaxation. We may have past summer’s halfway mark, but there is still plenty of time squeeze in a “beach read” (or a “rainy summer afternoon in your pajamas” read). If you’re the type of reader who reads in short, sporadic bursts — instead of cover-to-cover in a week or less, consider short stories.

Short stories aren’t just for kids and teens. There are many classic and contemporary short story collections that allow readers to complete a narrative in one sitting. These are our favorite short story collections for your end-of-summer beach read.

Munki Munki Blue Pajama Set

Munki Munki “Deep Sea Whales” Cotton Jersey Classic Pajama Set

Best Short Story Collections for Your Next Beach Read

1. Runaway by Alice Munro (2004)

This list is starting out strong: Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013 for her extraordinary work as “master of the contemporary short story. She also won the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work and has been called the modern-day Chekhov. Runaway is among her best collections, effortless shifting across decades. Munro has the remarkable ability to convey an entire life in a few pages.

2. Pulse by Julian Barnes (2011)

Barnes is best known as a novelist and won the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for The Sense of an Ending (sensing a theme here?). His collection of short stories, Pulse, is brilliant — steeped in social nuance and colorful details. Two particularly excellent examples from this collection are “Complicity,” about the start of a love affair, and “East Wind,” about a relationship between an estate agent and a foreign waitress. Perfect content for a beach read.

3. Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl (1960)

Everyone knows his peerless children’s books, but did you know that Roald Dahl writes adult fiction that is equally vivid and… well… wicked and a little unsettling? The stories in Kiss Kiss are brilliantly unnerving and considered a “masterclass” in the form. This collection is is a wonderful way to see Dahl in a new light.

4. This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You by Jon McGregor (2012)

Set in the UK — in Norfolk and Cambridge — this collection of stories will haunt you for months. McGregor has a knack for elevating everyday occurances, turning them into small, perfectly rendered pieces of art. As one review in the Guardian noted, “The stories wrap themselves around the wholly disconcerting premise that catastrophe can rear up in anyone’s life without warning.”

5. Tenth of December by George Saunders (2013)

Winner of the Folio Prize for fiction, Saunders is, according to Entertainment Weekly, “the master of joy bombs: little explosions of grin-stimulating genius that he buries throughout his deeply thoughtful, endless entertaining flights of imagination.” Written with a mix of humor and humanity, this collection is ideal for readers who want to smile and be moved.

The Cat's Pajamas Pink Shorts Set

The Cat’s Pajamas Women’s Tahiti Palm Knit Shorts Set

6. A Life of Adventure and Delight by Akhil Sharma (2017)

Like Alice Munro, Akhil Sharma has also been likened to Chekov. A truly epic writer, Sharma’s stories in this collection feature Indian protagonists, both in India and abroad, carefully exploring complex relationships with their families, partners, and selves in flawless short form.

7. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? By Raymond Carver (1976)

Carver’s classic 1970s collection is perfect for people who like a writer who uses one word instead of 12. Known for his short, punchy prose, Carver conveys in a few words what many novelists take several pages to express. In stories such as “Fat” and “Are You a Doctor?” he writes with flat understatement about suburban disenchantment in mid-century America. This particular collection was shortlisted for the National Book prize and was written during what Carver called his “first life,” when he nearly died of alcoholism.

8. There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry (2007)

If you’ve ever read Kevin Barry’s work before, it’s clear that he takes joy in story-telling — a joy that is palpable in his writing. It’s well, fun, to read authors that are clearly having fun. While the stories themselves are not always “joyous” — there are plenty of tales of lost souls and misfiring Irish families and friendships — this is funny, stirring writing from a unique talent.

9. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)

Another prize winning read. This collection of nine stories by Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize shortly after it was published and was named New Yorker’s debut of the year. The New York Times described the stories as containing an “uncommon elegance and poise.” The narratives explore the Indian-American immigrant experience and the alchemy of love and relationships.

10. A Selfie As Big As the Ritz by Laura Williams (2016)

Get lost in this contemporary collection by Laura Williams, a smart and funny writer who uses details that other writers would overlook, losing their punch. One critic wrote, “I admire that at the core of each story, Williams sticks to the familiar. Her writing however, her style, are anything but.” The stories aren’t a stretch and are easy to grasp, but presented in a new and entertaining format. Especially relatable for readers of a younger generation, but timelessly enjoyed.

11. The Love Object by Edna O’Brien (2014)

Edna O’Brien is a critic favorite and considered one of the great modern Irish writers. This collection spans five decades of brilliant short story writing from O’Brien whose prose style is among the most celebrated of any living author. Her characters range from lonely nuns to single mothers to modern millionaires and are consistently remarkable. Perfect stories for the beach, on the couch, or if you’re tucked in bed for the night with a cup of tea. Good luck putting this one down.

For more ideas for rest and relaxation this summer, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Cool Cotton Pajamas for Summer

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What to Wear Camping

11 Must-Have Summer ‘Glamping’ Essentials

“We should go camping!” exclaims your friend / roommate / significant other and before you know it (before you’ve had your coffee) you shout, “YES! We should TOTALLY go camping!” Three clicks and a rental car later, you made plans to spend the weekend in the great outdoors.

Sleeping under the stars… or on the ground in a hot tent surrounded by bugs… isn’t for everyone, but glamping certainly is. Glamping is short for “glamorous camping” and the concept inspires even the most hardened indoor cats to venture into the wilderness. The idea behind glamping is to make the experience as relaxing and restorative as a night in a hotel. Here’s how.

11 Must-Have Summer Glamping Essentials

Turn Camping into ‘Glamping’ with the Right Gear

1. Effective “Dry” Insect Repellent

If you’re not a fan of the outdoors, this is not the time to try an “all natural” bug spray made of essential oils and unicorn tears. This is the time to stock up on products like OFF! Deep Woods Dry. Bug spray may not sound like “glamping” gear, but the less time you spend tending to mosquito bites and swatting at gnats, the more time you spend enjoying the outdoors. Dry repellents last for 8 hours, aren’t greasy like typical sprays, and are safe to use on your clothing and tents! Make your weekend a bug-free zone.

2. Starter Logs

It’s cute that your partner wants to show you how they learned to make a fire in Scouts over 20 years ago… but on the off chance they’re a little rusty, pack starter logs. Starter logs will have you enjoying perfectly toasted marshmallows in a matter of minutes. Brands like Enviro-Log are safe for the environment and burn clean without all the chemicals.

3. “Fold and Go” Propane Camping Grill

You won’t want to start a bonfire every time you want to enjoy a hot meal. Make mealtime easier with an inexpensive, lightweight “fold and go” propane grill. They pack away neatly, are easy to carry in a backpack, and simple to clean and maintain. These grills are the difference between eating a granola bar for breakfast or savoring a hearty meal of bacon and eggs.

4. Reliable Cooler for the Champagne

With the right cooler or ice chest, you can keep food cold for up to 4 days! Don’t limit yourself to canned food, dry goods, and water. Pack your favorite meats, cheeses, and beverages and enjoy them all at a refreshing temperature. You can’t go glamping without the mimosas!

Light Summer Pajamas

It’s heating up! We adore this cotton pajama set from The Cat’s Pajamas.

5. The Perfect Camping Pajamas

You won’t feel glamorous sliding into your sleeping bag wearing the the same T-shirt you’ve been wearing all day, smelling of sweat and bug spray. Drift off to sleep in a silky, lightweight pajama set that will breathe through even the most humid summer nights. Check out our most popular light, breezy summer pajama sets for inspiration.

6. Air Mattress, Blankets, and Plenty of Pillows

Even the cushiest sleeping bag won’t save your spine from the uneven dirt floor beneath your tent. Splurge on a battery-operated pump for an air mattress. Go ahead and bring sheets, blankets, and plenty of indoor and outdoor pillows to turn your tent into a cozy den of comfort. Don’t forget LED-powered lanterns and battery-operated fans for an extra-luxurious experience.

7. Dry Shampoo and Other Creature Comforts

If your campsite is especially “rustic,” you’re going to need to pack basic creature comforts to live your glamping dream. If there is no running water, bring plenty of moist wipes to freshen up between deodorant applications. Wash your hair with a luxurious dry shampoo before bed, so you can hit your pillow with that “fresh blowout” feeling.

Give a Bathrobe and an At-Home Spa Day for the Holidays 2017

Kashwere Super Soft Shawl Collared Robe

8. A Plush, Luxurious Bathrobe

Even without running water, you can feel instantly cozy in the soft, cocoon-like arms of a high-end bathrobe. Wrap up in your robe at the end of the day, while you read in your tent. Be comfortable during cool early mornings, snug in your robe, sipping coffee brewed over an open flame. The perfect bathrobe instantly elevates any outdoor experience from camping to “glamping.”

9. Entertainment of Every Kind

We know, we know. You’re outdoors, so you should be stargazing and hiking and frolicking in fields with fawns and singing birds… but two or three days in the woods can get a little dull. There’s nothing wrong with bringing a fully charged tablet and watching a movie in the comfort of your pillow-stuffed tent. Of course, bring plenty of board games, card games, books, or magazines for non-electronic entertainment too!

10. The Hammock

Can you really call it “glamping” without a hammock? Don’t forget this absolutely essential piece of glamping equipment. Hammocks are the best way to lounge outdoors. They are easily packed and easily installed between two trees at any campsite. You can even find folding hammocks that pop up independently, without screwing bolts into trees.

11. Elevated S’Mores

We have nothing against Hershey’s, but if you want to take your camping experience from rustic to elegant, start with the s’mores. Instead of the standard Hershey’s milk chocolate, try incorporating bars of artisan chocolate with your graham crackers and toasted marshmallows. Artisanal chocolates come in flavors like candied orange peel, spiced chili, cinnamon, and lavender. This is a simple way to add a touch of luxury to any gathering around a bonfire.

For more ideas for outdoor fun for the whole family, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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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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