New Year, New You at the Library

new-years-resolutionEven though we are in the middle of the joys (as well as aggravations) of the holiday season, it may be a good time to start thinking about the fact that 2014 is TOMORROW, and with that comes the opportunity to reflect and consider making some new year’s resolutions.  At the Erlanger Branch in January, we’re offering a series of events that aims to help you have fun while improving a variety of aspects of your life.

January 9, 7pm:  Quick & Tasty Soup Making – If your new year’s resolution is to eat better or just make more time for cooking, then look no further.  Learn to make hearty and delicious soups in this class presented by the Kenton County Cooperative Extension.  Samples will be served!

Book Suggestions:

Soup by Vava Berry ; photography by Yuki Sugiura

Call# 641.813 B534s 2010

Love soup : 160 all-new vegetarian recipes from the author of The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas

Call#641.5636 T454L 2009

Cincinnati & soup : recipes from the Queen City and great soup by Cheri Brinkman

Call# K 641.59771 B858c 2010

loose weightJanuary 14, 7pm: Healthy Weight Loss – Join us for an informative class on how to lose weight by improving your health from the inside out and avoid common mistakes and fitness myths.   Presented by the physician-supervised, Figure Weight Loss Clinic.

 

 

 

Book Suggestions:

No-fad diet: a personal plan for healthy weight loss by The American Heart Association

Call# 613.25 N739f 2011

You, losing weight: the owner’s manual to simple and healthy weight loss by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz

Call# 613.25 R741yL 2011

What to eat : the ten things you really need to know to eat well and be healthy! By Luise Light

Call# 613.2 L723w 2006

January 21, 6:30pm: Time Management Tips & Tricks – Back by popular demand, this ever-helpful presentation will show you simple but effective ways to organize your work and personal lives in order to make better use of your time.  You’ll be amazed at how fun organizing your schedule and managing your time can be!

Book Suggestions:

The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey

Call# 158.1 C873s 2004

Lifehacker : the guide to working smarter, faster and better by Adam Pash and Gina Trapani

Call# 004.16 P281L 2011

Organizing your day : time management techniques that will work for you by Sandra Felton and Marsha  Sims.

Call# 650.11 F327o 2009

respect

January 23, 6pm:  Gaining Respect 101 – In this transformative program presented by area life coaches Kimberly Mitchell and Pam Rettig, you will learn about the nature of respect as well as well as techniques to gain respect in all areas of life.

Book Suggestions:

Smile at strangers : and other lessons in the art of living fearlessly by Susan Schorn

Call# 158 S374s 2013

You! : the journey to the center of your worth by Ed Young

Call# 248.4 Y71y 2005

Power thoughts: achieve your true potential through power thinking by Robert Schuller

Call# 248.4857 S3862p

healthy sleepJanuary 28, 7pm:  Improve Your Sleep – Accomplishing these resolutions will be much more difficult if you don’t get a good night’s rest, as healthy sleep affects all other aspects of your well-being.  Join us for a presentation by local clinical psychologist Dr. Emily Sander, that will give you tips and tricks on how to improve your quality of sleep.

 

Book Suggestions:

Eat move sleep : how small choices lead to big changes by Tom Rath

Call# 613 R234e 2013

Sound sleep, sound mind : 7 keys to sleeping through the night by Barry Krakow

Call# 616.8498 K89s 2007

Healing sleep: for nights when thoughts keep churning [CD] by Kelly Howell

Call# 613.79 H859h 2006

These programs at the Erlanger Branch aren’t the only thing that can help you keep a New Year’s Resolution.

Are you looking to improve your job skills or find a new job? All three branches offer computer classes like Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Mail Merge. The Library also offers job-related workshops like Job Research Skills Workshop, Target Your Resume Workshop and Interviewing Skills Workshop. There will even be a Job Fair at the Covington location on January 30 from noon-4 p.m.

job-skills-221x185

Some people will resolve to learn their family tree. The Library can help with one-on-one genealogy assistance as well as programs. And if you are looking to spend more time as a family, we can help with that too through library storytimes and other family programs.

You can find a full listing of programs at www.kentonlibrary.org/events. Do you have a resolution or goal for 2014? Share with us!

 

 

 

Rereading Favorite Books

A mom sharing her favorite books with her children.

A mom sharing her favorite books with her children.

What is your favorite book? Why do you love it? Who do you talk with about your favorite stories?

When December comes and it’s snowy and tiny colored lights are blinking (or menorah candles are twinkling), it gets dark so early I don’t always want a new and exciting book. This is the time of year I grab an old favorite to reread.
The thing about favorite books is how personal they are. I’ve had friendships that never looked the same after I admitted to hating A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I’ve become insta-besties with fans of Douglas Adams and L.M. Montgomery.

As librarians, it’s important for us to not get bogged down in what we love when we are helping you to find your favorites, old and new. Do you want to reread Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events but don’t remember their order? Maybe you want to listen to The Lightning Thief or see if The Fault In Our Stars is any different on your new ereader  instead of the physical, paper book.

Eden at Erlanger separates her favorites into favorite this year , all-time favorite, favorite to recommend, favorite when she was a kid…which is a book I read in college and am now excited to talk about with Eden!

That’s the beauty of beloved books. Is it more important that we have the same favorite stories as people around us, or that we are willing to share our favorites? This holiday, why not ask the people around you what their favorite books are, or ask them to read yours?

Visit the website to browse the catalog and put items on hold.

Keeping Kids Busy Over the Holiday Break

Keeping kids entertained over an extended holiday can be a challenge, but we’ve got some great ideas for you. If sled riding isn’t possible and the cold is keeping you inside, there are plenty of activities for the whole family that are sure to keep them entertained. We’re sure a good book is the perfect remedy, but in case you need other ideas, here are ours!

Staying In Town?

If you live near the William E. Durr branch, check out our listings for School’s Out Movies! We have lots of showings for the whole family. We supply the popcorn, so just bring yourself and a drink and let us take care of the rest! Register by following the link above or calling 859-962-4031.

All movies will begin at 1:00 PM.

12/23 Elf!

12/26 Despicable Me 2

12/27 Grown Ups 2

12/30 Planes

12/31 Monsters Inc. & Monsters University

1/2 Smurfs 2

1/3 The Croods

Crafting

I’m really into crafting, and Christmas is the perfect time to try out new ideas and give them as one-of-a-kind gifts. There are so many fun craft ideas on Pinterest; you could stay busy for days.

Pinterest has some great ideas! Check out our Christmas board here.

Paper crafts for Christmas by Randel McGee

Christmas Crafts by Jean Eick

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving by Jessica Strand

Step-by-Step crafts for Winter by Kathy Ross

Baking cookies

Going to a cookie swap or have a lot of baking to do for a Christmas party? Involve the kids! You’ll not only invoke their creative abilities, but also keep them entertained.

The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-Batch Recipes to Bake and Share by Good Housekeeping

The Big Book of Cookies by Betty Crocker

Christmas Cookies: 50 Recipes to Treasure for the Holiday Season (EBook) by Lisa Zwirn

Usborne Christmas Baking for Children by Fiona Patchett

Cool Cookies & Bars: Easy Recipes for Kids to Bake by Pam Price

Going Out of Town?

Two words: Audio books! Check out a Playaway View—a pre-loaded video player with audio that’s great for keeping children entertained. We have dozens of them on all kinds of subjects; from animated storybooks that appeal to young children and non-fiction titles for older children. Audio books are a great way to keep your whole family occupied during a long car ride. Here’s a list of my top five family-friendly audio books for long car trips:

City of Ember by Jean DuPrau

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Holes by Loius Sachar

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Don’t forget that you can download eBooks and audio books to your device through Overdrive and One Click Digital before your trip, or check out a magazine from Zinio!

Just because the kids are out of school for an extended holiday doesn’t mean they have be bored. Be sure to stock up on library books before break begins so they’ll have plenty of reading (or viewing) material to keep them happy!

How will you be keeping your children busy over the holiday break? Comment below and let us know!

Save Money & Time with Handmade Gifts

Welcome this week’s guest blogger: Heather Tenney Owner, InGodsEconomy.com and Heather Tenney Photography

From the moment Thanksgiving week begins, the countdown to chaos begins–we begin shopping and cooking and cleaning and crafting and cleaning and cooking and cleaning…as much as we love the holidays, they are a lot of work! As much as we talk about great deals and great sales, year after year we end up spending more money than we did the year before. Every year just seems to get crazier, and many of you are just trying to survive the dash to the great finish line: Christmas morning. For many of you, you are stressed out already. Just the idea of the holidays sends your shoulders into your ears, your ulcer begins churning, your palms sweat and you think “I wish it wasn’t like this.” This is what the holidays have become in America–a great race to a pseudo-perfection that none of us ever achieve. Well, maybe Martha Stewart does. But then, I’ll bet she’s got a few maids, cooks, gardeners and assistants helping her out along the way! Us average folks don’t have that, yet we try to achieve perfection each and every year. But the harder we try, the more chaos engulfs us. We end up finishing the holidays spent, wiped out, and unable to really remember why we did it all in the first place.

This year, I want to help you step off of the crazy train and back into what you always dreamed the holidays would be. Gifts don’t need to be expensive or store bought to be special. Stop fighting the crowds at the stores searching for the perfect gift. Handmade gifts cost less, they don’t take as much time to make as it does to shop for gifts in packed malls and stores–and the added bonus? No parking lot jams or crazy drivers! Even better, handmade gifts make a lasting impression on the receiver, showing them you valued them enough to make something one of a kind just for them. You save money and you save time, while staying sane this holiday season. I love to bring my kids in to help with making the gifts, making lasting memories with them as well. I love to make up gift baskets, with several smaller handmade gifts in them to really treat them for months to come. Over the years I’ve come to find that most people actually prefer the gifts made with love over anything you can buy in the store. Save money, save time and give a gift they really love? That’s a win-win in my book!

Several local bloggers have great gift ideas that are easy to make, for kids and adults alike.

Handmade lotion bars are

Lotion bars are always a hit and can be pricey in stores. This recipe is quick and simple, using just three ingredients, and makes a large batch–so you’ve got plenty to give away as keep a few for yourself! These cost about $25 to make a batch of 18 large all natural lotion bars. Heather’s lotion bar recipe keeps it short and sweet!

homemade tutu

Have a little girl on your list? This tutu tutorial from The Review Wire will make her giggle with glee! Even better? It is simple to make and a heck of a lot cheaper than if you buy a tutu in the stores!

homemade sugar scrub

Sugar scrubs are popular with women. Even better, there’s only a couple of ingredients, which you likely already have on hand! Total cost is about $12 for ingredients (plus containers) and gives you enough for 8-10 gifts in smaller jars.This tutorial from InGodsEconomy keeps it quick and simple to make this gift. If you’d like to see more beauty gifts you can make at home, check out Beauty Trix for Cool Chix in the library.

almondjoy5

Who doesn’t love a good treat during the holidays? A box full of a selection of your favorite cookies, candies and snacks can make an excellent clutter-free gift! This recipe for Almond Joy no-bake truffles from Erin at A Bird and a Bean not only is easy to make, but they’re healthy as well! They’re gluten free and Paleo diet approved!

Knitting looms make knitting simple and fast! Even kids can do it!

If you like knitting or crocheting but don’t have the coordination or time to knit the way you’d like, a knitting loom may be the thing for you! These looms are inexpensive, and whip up beautiful scarves, hats, socks and more in just a few hours. This tutorial from InGodsEconomy breaks things down so that even beginners can knit up a scarf in a few hours. They’re simple enough that even kids can do it! If you like loom knitting, I suggest checking out the book Knitting Board Basics to learn more great patterns and tricks.

napkins

Here’s a great way to recycle fabric scraps or make gifts out of inexpensive remnants from the fabric store–make cloth napkins! This simple project requires only the most basic of sewing skills and whip up really quickly–but they have a wow factor as a gift! Check out this cloth napkin tutorial from Katie at The Little Things Journal.

The Kenton County Public Library has tons of books and magazines filled with gift ideas. Stop by and check them out. Will you be giving homemade gifts this year?

Try it Before You Buy It

Try It Before You Buy It

Your kid begs you to buy them a book, movie, video game or magazine subscription? You cave. You spend $25 to $100. They read the first few pages, check out one issue, watch the first 20 minutes or beat the game in an hour and say they are done with it or don’t like it. You’re out a lot of money for maybe an hour’s worth of entertainment. The Kenton County Public Library has the solution. Try it before you buy it!

just dance 4

Whether they are asking for Zelda, Just Dance 4 or Super Smash Bros for the Wii or Transformers, Zumba Fitness or Lego Harry Potter for the Xbox or Ratchet and Clank into the Nexus, Little Big Planet or Fast and Furious for Playstation, the Library has it, along with hundreds of other games, for you to borrow.

The Library also has movies like Percy Jackson, Despicable Me, Monsters Inc., The Lost Medallion and My Little Pony; a very minty Christmas, among thousands of others that might be on that Christmas list.outsiders

Of course the Library carries books like “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” “The Giver,” “The Outsiders” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” in addition to thousands of other popular and classic books for that hard to shop for teenager or adult.

We also carry hundreds of magazines. You can look at a few issues before deciding to buy a subscription. You can even skip the paid subscription all together and use Zinio through the Library website to have full magazines delivered to your email inbox.

consumer reports

Visit www.kentonlibrary.org to put items on hold and make sure your special one wants the gift before spending money.

Snow Day Fun

SnowDay

Every school in the area is off today and I heard the words “I’m bored” by 9 a.m. So what do you do with your snow day?

Hopefully, like us, you anticipated the storm and stocked up on books and movies from the library. But in case you didn’t do that, we have a few ideas for you.

1. Search through the Faces and Places database. Maybe you can help us identify some of the snowy day pictures.

2. Do genealogy research as a family by searching online databases from home with your library card including HeritageQuest, World Vital Records, and the Historical Cincinnati Enquirer. You can also search geNKY and the Northern Kentucky Newspaper Index from home without a library card!

3. Sit down together to write your family newsletter for your holiday cards. Add something new you’ve learned this year about your family history in the newsletter. Don’t forget to include names and dates on the back of the pictures for future genealogists!

4. Bake while listening to Christmas carols (download a few for free from Freegal).

5. Make Christmas crafts for gifts with ideas you get from magazines. We have dozens of free online magazine subscriptions that you can access from home with your library card number.

6. Access some of your favorite movies on Hoopla from home with your library card number.

7. Children ages 2-12 can read books for prizes as part of our holiday read program.

8. Play board games or video games as a family.

9. No new books to read? Don’t worry! Download to your ereader from the library website.

10. Read Mom-spot’s blogs for other great ideas. 

What do you do on snow days?

GIVEAWAY: FRISCH’S PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER

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Whether you are looking for the perfect date night or a family adventure, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without The Nutcracker. The tradition returns for the ultimate family experience including stunning sets and costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s melodious score, played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The beloved story of Clara and her nutcracker doll turned handsome prince is the dream-like adventure we cherish with loved ones season after season.
Personally, I love the Nutcracker! This is the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids to the art of ballet or take a break and go with a friend or as a date night. Performances run Dec.20-22, and Dec.26-29 at the Aronoff Center. Single tickets start at $32, and may be purchased by visiting www.cballet.org. Thanks to the generosity of the Cincinnati Ballet, we have 2 tickets to see Frisch’s Presnets the Nutcracker at the Aronoff to give away to one lucky reader. The winner will also receive the book “Mia’s Nutcracker Ballet” by Robin Farley.
nutcracker book
GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the generosity of the Cincinnati Ballet, we have vouchers good for TWO TICKETS to see FRISCH’S PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER at the Aronoff Center Dec.20-22, and Dec.26-29, 2013.

For your chance to win tickets to see this performance, just leave a comment below saying why you want to go.
BONUS ENTRIES:
1. Subscribe to the blog and comment here that you did.
2. Like Kenton County Public Library on Facebook and comment here that you did.
3. Share this post via Facebook and tag the Kenton County Public Library or on Twitter (@Kenton Library) and comment here that you did.
All entries will be verified. You must comment separately for bonus entries. Kenton County Public Library employees and those living in their household are not eligible to win. Entries must be submitted by noon on on Monday, Dec. 9. One winner will be randomly selected using random.org. The winner must pick their voucher and book up at the Erlanger, Covington or Durr Branch Library. Good luck!