Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cookbooks I’ve enjoyed this summer


Summer for me is one of the best times to get cooking, all the local farm fresh produce really inspires me to try new things. Here are some of the cookbooks I’ve enjoyed this summer.
The Barefoot Contessa cookbook by Ina Garten: I love all of Ina Garten’s cookbooks. She presents all her recipes in an easy to follow format and usually gives you substations if you can’t find exactly the ingredient she’s asking for. Her recipes are great for entertaining and you know that they will be delicious.
Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand: My oven broke this summer and it took forever to have the landlord fix it. This book was great for when I wanted a dessert but couldn’t use my oven. This book covers everything you could ever want from puddings to icebox cakes. Everything in this book looks so amazing and great for the summer.
The French Market by Joanne Harris: This book is full of great seasonal French dishes. If you are wanting to do a simple traditional french meal this is the book for you. If you are feeling ambitious try the croissant recipe, it sounds amazing, well all of the dessert’s in this book sound amazing.
Sugar Baby by Gesine Bullock-Prado: This book is filled with so many amazing sugary confections that I’ve renewed it to its limit. There are so many amazing looking cakes, cookies, and candies that I feel I need to try them all. I loved this book so much that it made it onto the reading list for the 2013-2014 Cookbook Club.


You may have noticed that I love D.I.Y. projects. I have a whole list of things I want to do or things I just think are cool to be able to do yourself. I’ll do everything from making my own cards to laying my own floor, no project is too big or too small. The library has so many great do-it-yourself books that I just had to share some with you.
D.I.Y.: design it yourself  :Ellen Lupton, bestselling author of Thinking with Type , will show you how to do-it-yourself. DIY: Design It Yourself , provides you with all the tools you’ll need to create your own projects, from conception through production. No more excuses, just do it (yourself)!
Do it yourself: a step-by-step guide by Julian Cassell : A new edition of the bestselling Canadian home repair bible with over 400 projects and techniques that comply with Canadian building codes. Includes eco-friendly topics and green ideas and highlights the environmental impact of products such as woods, paints and insulation and suggests ecologically friendly alternatives.
The do-it-yourself  manual  : Suitable for both beginners and experts, this redesigned edition features a wide range of new step-by-step DIY projects, metric conversion charts, and much more. Contains over 3000 photos and 100 new technical drawings.
Homemade: 101 easy-to-make things for your garden, home, or farm by Ken Braren : Here are complete, easy-to-follow directions for 101 homemade items that will save you time and money. Projects include things for your home (such as a tool box, a basement closet, a fuel sled, a solar drier, and a window greenhouse), your garden (compost boxes, cold frames, soil sifter, fences, and tomato supports), and your farm (a move-able shed, a corral gate, a watering trough, a chicken feeder, and an incubator).

Back to school

back to school
It’s that time of year again, time to go back to school shopping. I remember going shopping at the end of August for all my school supplies, new shoes, and clothing, it was usually chaos trying to get everything I needed. The stores were packed, my dad was cranky about what he thought the school should supply, and my brother and I just wanted to play with our friends.
blog_schoolThere are so many emotions that are brought up when back to school is mentioned, if you’re a kid who’s older than grade one you probably only want to go back to see friends, as a parent it can be hectic trying to get everyone organized for the first day or sad if it’s going to be the first day of kindergarten in September.


Here are some helpful tips to get you and your children ready for school.
  • Treat it like any other school day. If you make it out to be this big day you might cause some performance anxiety and make your child not want to go.
  • Get ready the night before. This helps keep your morning stress free because you know where everything is and you are not frantically searching for something important when you should have left already.
  • Eat a good breakfast. It’s important to eat a good breakfast so that you are energized and ready for anything, it also helps keep you from getting hungry before lunch period so that you can concentrate on your studies.
  • Know how you are going to get to school. If you are a bus student where’s your stop, what rout will you be walking or which of your parents will be driving you?
  • If your child is going to school for the first time visit the school on it’s open house day. While there meet your child’s teacher and find out what they will be learning so you can get a jump start on it over the summer.
  • Be supportive of your children but know when to let go. Walking with your kindergartner to school is great, walking them when they enter high school might be taking it a bit far.
Here are some books to help get you and your little one’s ready for school.
 What to expect at preschool by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
Is your child ready for school? By Sandra Heriot (Ebook)
The teacher from the black lagoon by Mike Thaler
Leapfrog. Let’s go to school (DVD)
Get ready for second grade, Amber Brown by Paula Danziger
Ready set school by Jacquelyn Mitchard
I am not going to school today by Robie H. Harris
Ten rules you absolutely must not break if you want to survive the school bus by John Grandots

Get Organized


I will admit to being very disorganized at home, I’m trying to improve on it now so when we move to our new house I can keep it clean and tidy. You don’t have to spend a fortune having a professional organizer help you, all you need is some organizational tools and some helpful books you picked up at your local library.
CerealBoxDeskDrawerOrganizerBeforeAfterYou can even use old things like cereal boxes to help you get organized. You probably already have all the tools you need to get organized in your house, you just need to see the potential in them. And it doesn’t just stop at cereal boxes, you could paint an old cheese grater and use it to organize your dangling earrings,  or use the old bread tags that have been labeled to organize the plugs on your power bar, no more testing to see if it’s the cord you want.
We have lots of helpful organization books to get you started on the path to an organized home, or office.
Organize your home: clutter cures for every room 
Book of organization the art of creating order by Jo Packham
Organizing magic: 40 days to a well ordered home and life by Sandra Felton
Mission – Organization: strategies and solutions to clean your clutter 
The clutter cure: three steps to letting stuff for, organizing your space, and creating the home of your dreams by Judi Culbertson
Small space organizing: a room-by-room guide to maximizing your space by Kathryn Bechen

Home repair and improvement

home repair

Almost everyone has something in their homes that they would like to change or things that they want to renovate for resale value later on. This can be a daunting task if you don’t know what is going on in your home or what the contractor should be doing. Picking a contractor to do the work in your home is hard too, do you just pick a name out of the yellow pages? or go based on friends recommendations?
Here are some books that will help you improve your home.
Householder’s survival manual
The wise renovator: a homeowner’s guide to managing contractors, and home renovations by Susan Easson
No fear home improvement 
How your house works: a visual guide to understanding and maintaining your home by Charles Wing
Save $20,000.00 with a nail: more than 1,900 practical tips for a problem-free home
Renovation by Michael W. Litchfield
The complete photo guide to home repair 
Positive home solutions (DVD Series)
Complete do-it-yourself manual 

Summer Tunes


Did you know the library has music, and that it’s great music? It’s not just classical or 80’s music, we have new music too. We also have 4 music databases that you have access to through your library card. How many other cards in your wallet give you access to free music?
freegalI’ve mentioned this eResource before but it’s so great I had to mention it again. Download free (and legal) music from a variety of artists and genres from the Sony catalogue, which includes many of today’s most popular musicians. You can download 3 songs per week, which are yours to keep!
naxos-music-library-jazzNaxos Music Library Jazz offers mixed selections of jazz legends and contemporary jazz. Newly selected titles of other leading independent labels are added every month. This is the place for you if you love jazz.
Naxos-Spoken-Word-LibraryOk so this one isn’t really for music but you can still listen to it. The Naxos Spoken Word Library is one of the most comprehensive collections of classic eAudiobook available online. With more than 410 titles and close to 340 authors, you’ll have a hard time picking one to listen to.
naxos-music-libraryNaxos Music Library is the most comprehensive collection of classical music available online. It includes the complete Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues of over 130,000 tracks, including Classical music, Jazz, World, Folk, and Chinese music. All these can be accessed from your home or office.

Genetically modified foods, how far is too far?

With the recent news of a lab grown burger being taste tested, I got thinking about genetically modified foods and how far is too far?
Here is the video of the lab-grown burger.

Personally I’m not for genetically modifying our food and if all I could get was meat that had been grown in a lab I would go back to being a vegetarian. That being said I do recognize that there are benefits to GM (genetically modified) foods, making it so food can grow in climates that are harsh, and creating affordable food that everyone can have access to is great. This is what makes it hard for me to take a true stance on this issue, I see both sides have valid points and after all, who am I to deny food to starving people? However I do think that growing meat in a dish is crossing the line, if we are going to be facing a meat shortage I think cutting back on the amount of meat in our diet is the way to go. The North American diet has become so dependent on meat over the last 50 years or so and its created a multitude of health problems. Check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell to learn more about how the diet we have now is hurting us and how we can cut meat down or out of our diets and live healthier lives. This will also keep us from having to grow meat in labs in the future.
I’ve made a conscious effort to make sure I don’t eat GM foods and I’ve used a lot of the resources that the library has on the subject to come to my conclusion that GM foods are not for me. Below is a list of great materials and an image of what to look for on produce stickers if you want to stay away from genetically modified foods. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how far is too far for yourself.
produce stickers Dinner at the new gene café by Bill Lambrecht
The taste of tomorrow by Josh Schonwald
The future of food (DVD)
Genetically modified food by Jen Green
Regulation of genetically modified food
Secret ingredients by Stuart Laidlaw
Pandora’s picnic basket by Alan McHughen
Tomorrow’s table by Pamel C. Ronald