Monthly Archives: October 2013

The GPL’s 100 must read books all about the home

logo 100 must read

Here is a list of 100 must read books all about the home. This list was created with input from the staff at the GPL so you know the books are going to be great!
  1. Kitchen cures: revolutionize your health with foods that heal, Peggy Kotsopoulos (2013)
  2. Frugal isn’t cheap: spend less, save more, and live life better, Clare K. Levison (2013)
  3. Mastering the art of French cooking (Volume one), Julia Child (2001)
  4. A history of food in 100 recipes, William Sitwell (2013)
  5. Domino: The book of decorating: a room-by-room guide to creating a home that makes you happy, Deborah Needleman (2008)
  6. Good things for organizing: good things with Martha Stewart Living (2001)
  7. Clean like a man: Housekeeping for men (and the women who love them), Tom McNulty (2004)
  8. Creating sacred spaces with feng shui, Karen Kingston (1996)
  9. The Omnivore’s dilemma: A natural history of four meals, Michael Pollan (2006)
  10. Kitchen Confidential: adventures in the culinary underbelly, Anthony Bourdain (2000)
  11. The flavor Bible: the essential guide to culinary creativity, based on the wisdom of America’s most imaginative chefs, Karen Page (2008)
  12. Cleaning: Plain and Simple, Donna Smallin (2006)
  13. Greening your clean, Imus Deirdre (2007)
  14. The ultimate accidental housewife: your guide to a clean-enough house, Julie Edelman (2008)
  15. Unstuff your life!: Kick the clutter habit and completely organize your life for good, Andrew J. Mellen (2010)
  16. Organize your home: clutter cures for every room (2013)
  17. Old house colors: an expert’s guide to painting your old (or not so old) house, Lawrence Schwin (1990)
  18. Decorative painting techniques for walls, floors, ceilings and furniture, Elise Kinkead (2009)
  19. Make it right, attics and basements, Mike Holmes (2011)
  20. Creating your dream bathroom: how to plan and style the perfect space, Susan Breen (2005)
  21. New bathroom ideas that work, Scott Gibson (2012)
  22. The Kitchen: Renovating for real life, Vinny Lee (2003)
  23. Creating your dream kitchen: How to plan and style the perfect space, Susan Breen (2005)
  24. Lyn Peterson’s real kitchens, Lyn Peterson (2007)
  25. Kitchen: Recipes from the heart of the home, Nigella Lawson (2010)
  26. House beautiful colors for your home: 300 designer favorites (2008)
  27. The Tucci cookbook, Stanley Tucci (2012)
  28. Looneyspoons, Greta and Janet Podleski (2012)
  29. Preserving for all seasons, Anne Gardon (1999)
  30. Well preserved: small batch preserving for the new cook, Mary Anne Dragan (2009)
  31. French lessons: adventures with knife, fork, and corkscrew, Peter Mayle (2001)
  32. Medium raw: a bloody valentine to the world of food and the people who cook, Anthony Bourdain (2010)
  33. Baked: new frontiers in baking, Matt Lewis (2008)
  34. Sugar-free gluten-free baking and desserts: recipes for healthy and delicious cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, puddings, breads, and pizzas, Kelly E. Keough (2009)
  35. Bakeless sweets: pudding, panna cotta, fluff, icebox cake and more no-bake desserts, Faith Durand (2013)
  36. Laundry: the home comforts book of caring for cloths and linens, Cheryl Mendelson (2005)
  37. The city and town gardener: a handbook for planting small spaces and containers, Linda Yang (1995)
  38. The rusty rake gardener: beautiful Canadian gardens with minimum toil, Dave Cummins (1999)
  39. The new Ontario naturalized garden: the complete guide to using native plants, Lorraine Johnson (2001)
  40. Edible landscaping: urban food gardens that look great, Lindsay Senga (2012)
  41. The Canadian gardener’s guide to foliage and garden design, Marjorie Harris (1993)
  42. Hardscaping: how to use structures, pathways, patios and ornaments in your garden, Keith Davitt (2006)
  43. Sew cool, sew simple: stylish skirts, Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader (2005)
  44. Sewing for the home: over 50 stylish projects to give your home a fresh look. (2002)
  45. Martha Stewart’s encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts: basic techniques for sewing, applique, embroidery, quilting, dyeing and painting, plus 150 inspired projects from A to Z, Martha Stewart (2012)
  46. Secrets of the baby whisperer for toddlers, Tracy Hogg (2002)
  47. Child’s play: Montessori games and activities for your baby and toddler, Maja Pitamic (2008)
  48. First time parents, Miriam Stoppard (2009)
  49. Body fit: a beginner’s guide to fitness, Greg Marshall (2012)
  50. Feeding baby: Simple, healthy recipes for babies and their families, Joachim Splichal (2003)
  51. Baby love: healthy, easy, delicious meals for your baby and toddler, Norah O’Donnell (2010)
  52. The flooring handbook: the complete guide to choosing and installing floors, Dennis Jeffries (2004)
  53. Tiling: the installation handbook, Edward R. Lipinski (2002)
  54. Baking with Julia: based on the PBS series hosted by Julia Child, Dorie Greenspan (1996)
  55. The cupcake cafe cookbook, Ann Warren (1998)
  56. The Amish cooks baking book, Lovina Eicher (2009)
  57. Bouchon bakery, Thomas Keller (2012)
  58. Deceptively delicious: simple secrets to get your kids eating good foods, Jessica Seinfeld (2007)
  59. Home by design: transforming your house into a home, Sarah Susanka (2004)
  60. Inside the not so big house: disscovering the details that bring a home to life, Sarah Susanka (2005)
  61. Living large in small spaces: expressing personal style in 100 to 1,000 square feet, Marisa Bartoucci (2003)
  62. Designerguys: finding your personal style, Chris Hyndaman (2002)
  63. The mystic cookbook: the secret alchemy of food, Denise Linn (2012)
  64. Made by dad: 67 blueprints for making cool stuff, Scott Bedford (2013)
  65. The big-ass book of home decor, Mark Montano (2010)
  66. Undecorate: the no-rules approach to interior design, Christiane Lemieux (2011)
  67. Decorate: 1,000 professional design ideas for every room in your home, Holly Becker (2011)
  68. Cooked: a natural history of transformation, Michael Pollan (2013)
  69. Easy, delicious home cooking: 250 recipes for every season and occasion, Real Simple (2012)
  70. It’s all good: delicious, easy recipes that will make you look good and feel great, Gwyneth Paltrow (2013)
  71. Salt, sugar, fat: how the food giants hooked us, Michael Moss (2013)
  72. Adulting: how to become a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps, Kelly Williams Brown (2013)
  73. The Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Ina Garten (1999)
  74. Barefoot Contessa parties!: Ideas and recipes for easy parties that are really fun, Ina Garten (2001)
  75. French Provincial cooking, Elizabeth David (2007)
  76. Vegetarian dishes from across the Middle East, Arto der Haroutunian (2008)
  77. Home comforts: the art and science of keeping house, Cheryl Mendelson (1999)
  78. Quinoa 365: the everyday superfood, Patricia Green (2010)
  79. Barefoot Contessa family style: easy ideas and recipes that make everyone feel like family, Ina Garten (2002)
  80. Barefoot in Paris: easy French food you can really make at home, Ina Garten (2004)
  81. Essentials of classic Italian cooking, Marcella Hazan (1992)
  82. The Barefoot Contessa at home: everyday recipes you’ll make over and over again, Ina Garten (2006)
  83. Barefoot Contessa back to basics: fabulous flavors from simple ingredients, Ina Garten (2008)
  84. The art of simple food, Alice Waters (2007)
  85. Barefoot Contessa: foolproof: recipes you can trust, Ina Garten (2012)
  86. Barefoot Contessa: How easy was that?, Ina Garten (2010)
  87.  Vegan pizza: 50 cheesy, crispy, healthy recipes, Julie Hasson (2013)
  88. Beating the lunch box blues, J. M. Hirsch (2013)
  89. Moosewood restaurant favorites: the 250 most-requested naturally delicious recipes from one of America’s best-loved restaurants (2013)
  90. Allergies, away!: creative eats and mouthwatering treats for kids allergic to nuts, dairy, and eggs, Ginger Park (2013)
  91. Sunny’s kitchen: easy food for real life, Sunny Anderson (2013)
  92. The heart of the plate: vegetarian recipes for a new generation, Mollie Katzen (2013)
  93. Free-range knitter: the yarn harlot writes again, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (2008)
  94. The can’t cook book: 100+ recipes for the absolutely terrified!, Jennifer Seinfeld (2013)
  95. Martha Stewart’s cakes: our first ever book of bunts, loaves, layers, coffee cakes, and more (2013)
  96. The flavor principle: enticing your senses with food and drink, Lucy Waverman (2013)
  97. Save with Jamie, Jamie Oliver (2013)
  98. Tending the earth: a gardener’s manifesto, Lorraine Johnson (2002)
  99. History of Canadian gardening, Carol Martin (2000)
  100. How to clean your home fast: for busy moms (2007)



My allergies are in full swing and have been since the snow melted and they will be here until the snow starts to fall again.
Pollen seasons in Ontario




Here are some books that will help you cope with your allergies and asthma.
The allergy and asthma cure by Fred Pescotare
Allergies by Peter D’Adamo
Action plan for allergies by William Briner
My house is killing me! by Jeffrey C. May
The allergy sourcebook by Merla Zellerbach
Family guide to asthma and allergies
Allergies by Alvin Silverstein
Allergy free naturally by Rick Ansarge

Halloween decorating

halloween dinnig roomI love Halloween, watching scary movies, going to haunted houses, and telling ghost stories is my idea of a great night. I loved dressing up as a kid (and as an adult) and going out with friends to collect candy. I look forward to Halloween for most of the year and start planning my costume and makeup in the summer. This year for Halloween I’ll be out of the apartment and in my new house, I didn’t get an old house but I’m still really excited to decorate, I’ve been saving ideas up for a few years and now is my chance to give them a try!
Here are some of the cool things I’ll be making this year.
cheese cloth ghost2012-08-30_Allan_DIY-Halloween-Decorations-Halloween-Mason-Jar-Luminaries-Pumpkin-LuminaryMason jars are great and are being used for more than just canning. You can find mason jar wedding themes, put a layered salad in them to bring to work, and many other uses. My favorite is using them as candle holders, you can make them look elegant by wrapping them in lace and putting in a tea light candle, or you can make them look scary for Halloween.  I love the mummy and pumpkin because they will still look really cute during the day. They are easy to make all you need is some cheeses cloth/gauze and googly eyes for the mummy and orange tissue paper, green ribbon and black paper for the pumpkin.


Another fun Halloween decoration idea  is this great string of milk jug ghosts. Collect milk jugs from home, neighbors, or co-workers and draw jack-o-lantern faces on them. Cut a hole in the back and pile a few white Christmas lights inside and place the jugs beside each other in a row. This would be a great way to light your walkway on Halloween night so the little ghosts and goblins don’t trip coming to get their candy.


I’m very excited to try some window silhouettes this  year. You can do so much with them, you can keep them fun like the monsters in the windows above or make them more sinister with the silhouette of a person hanging or a witch at her cauldron making a potion.
Here are some books to help you get your home ready for Halloween.
175 easy-to-do Halloween crafts
Country Living handmade Halloween by Zazel Loven
Scary scenes for Halloween by Jill Williams Grover
Hocus Pocus!
Halloween crafts by Fay Robinson
Zombie felties by Nicola Tedman
Artful Halloween by Susan Wasinger

Everything baby

We have a few pregnant women in the office right now and it occurred to me that we have no posts on babies or pregnancy.  To rectify this here is a post on all things baby and pregnancy.
Now I don’t have kids and I’m not pregnant, so I don’t really have a lot to say on pregnancy, but I ran and developed children’s programs in the Children’s Department and at the East Side Branch. The library has a great selection of materials on pregnancy, babies, toddlers, baby food, and so much more.
Superfoods for babies and children by Annabel Karmel
Feeding your toddler by Judy More
The wholesome baby food guide by Maggie Meade
Cherish the first six weeks by Helen Moon
The baby book
Calm the crying by Priscilla Dunstan
My pregnancy
The pregnant body book
The pregnancy bible

The 5 deadly sins of D.I.Y


D.I.Y can be fun, it can produce beautiful one of a kind things for your home but, it can also be a total disaster. There are somethings that I believe you should never do on your own (like electrical work) and you should never take on more than you are comfortable with. Here is my list of the 5 deadly sins of D.I.Y.
pinterest nailed it1) Thinking it will look exactly like it did in the picture: This comes in at number one on my list because it’s one that every D.I.Yer is guilty of. We look through books and on Pinterest  and see these great projects that look so great and we expect that ours will look just as good. More often than not they will turn out, but every now and then it doesn’t work. There are a few blogs out there on Pinterest fails, here is one of my favorites. If you don’t know what Pinterest fails are they are pictures of things people have tried to do based on the instructions given by fellow Pinners, their failed attempt is usually accompanied by the picture they used as inspiration. I’m guilty of this one.
2) Starting a project before you have all the necessary materials: I know starting a new project can be very exciting, even more so if you have the items to get it started. You need to get all the materials needed first before you can start the project. If you don’t have a crucial tool or material that is needed, you might not finish the project. I know I have a few projects that are stashed in closets because I started them without having everything and I never got around to going to get what I needed.
time_management3) Poor time management: Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your deck. If you are taking on a big project that you think will take a full day, give yourself 2 or 3. This will save you the disappointment of not completing a goal on time and prepare you for the mess to last a few days. I find there is nothing worse that starting a project and not being able to finish it.
4) Not having the money to do the project properly: Personally I get bothered by people who don’t take pride in their work. If you’re not going to do a good job using the right materials don’t bother. Make sure you have the money to buy the proper materials and to rent any equipment you don’t own.
unqualified250w5) Know your skill level: Don’t take on a project that requires you to have a skill like welding if you don’t know how to do it. I’m not saying you can’t grow your skill set, I’m just saying take it slow, take a class and learn how to do it before you decide to make an oil drum BBQ.
Here are some books that will help you build your skills.

DIY hints & tips

DIY at home by Lola Gavarry

DIY guide to appliances by Steve Willson

DIY quick fix by Julian Cassell



The weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing and and the harvest is being brought in. This can only mean one thing … it’s time for Thanksgiving. It’s the time to be thankful for all that you have, spending time with your family and eating a lot of good food.
spindipWhen I was growing up thanksgiving was all about the food ,well every holiday is about the food for me. I always looked forward to my grandma bringing her pumpernickel bread and spinach dip, I thought it was the coolest thing because she would make the bread the bowl for the dip and when you ran out of bread to dip you just pulled a piece of the bowl.
I also remember making cool turkey themed crafts in school for Thanksgiving, I made hand print turkeys, pine cone turkeys, and pilgrim hats. When I was doing the children’s programs at our East Side Branch we made really cool turkey bobble head hats that were a huge hit.
Here are some books about Thanksgiving to get you in the mood.
The Thanksgiving book
Martha’s classic Thanksgiving (DVD)
Chester Chipmunk’s Thanksgiving by Barbara Williams
Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc T. Brown
‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving by Dave Pilkey
Turkey Trouble by Wendi J. Silvano