Thursday, April 17, 2014

Let's Eat Man-Food!

I've had fun exploring our cookbook collection recently. Typically, I go for the baking cookbooks, but my husband (eating motto: "no meat, no meal") was in browsing one day and noticed Two Dudes, One Pan.  Now, I'm in what I call "man-food mode." In addition to Two Dudes, I checked out The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home and Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Favorite Food Groups (and Then Some). I've only made the meatloaf from Two Dudes so far because I'm having a hard time choosing from all the yummy sounding recipes. It's been nice to get some fresh ideas for supper.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Local Lore: The Fox Family

Fox Village, Fox Park, Fox Woolen Mills...The word “Fox” is heard so often in La Porte that we usually don't stop to think why several important places have “Fox” in their name. Come to Local Lore: The Fox Family on Tuesday, May 6 from 6:30pm-7:30pm near the Indiana Room at the Main Library to find out more. That's primary election day, so just remember to come a half hour after the polls close. Here's just a little background about the Foxes. Samuel Fox established Fox Woolen Mills in 1858. In 1913, his sons Maurice, Herbert W., Robert C., Walter S., and Norman J. donated land for Fox Park in memory of their parents and their brother Arthur. The family also established Beechwood Golf Course, Fox Village, and the Civic Auditorium. There were five Fox family homes in La Porte. Two at 1503 and 1508 Indiana Avenue and two at 1515 and 1519 Michigan Avenue that are still standing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Owl" Always Love You

Last summer when my daughter got married, I rejoiced, not only that she had found the right partner, but that she and her husband-to-be decided to design a mostly pay-it-themselves wedding!

Their owl-themed DIY-style wedding took much less out of their bank account than many other couples', they didn't end up in debt, and the whole affair was meaningful and fun!

Here's how my daughter did it.

She and her equally frugal fiance decided--with their checkbook and budget close by--which parts of their wedding they could either do on their own or ask for help from family and friends. For instance, my daughter designed and printed the programs for the event, personalizing them with appropriate owl designs. She also decorated little bags for the birdseed throw (no rice, especially for a bird-themed wedding!).

For the reception, the couple knew they had to have flowers, but they cut the cost by spray painting a variety of thrift store vases and having just a few flowers per vase on the reception tables. My husband sliced a couple of logs we got from a friend into inch-thick slabs for the vases to rest on. What a woodsy, natural look to go along with their owl theme!

They found a great caterer for the meal, but cut food and labor costs by asking me to make their choice of appetizers. Personal photos and appropriate owl-y decor gleaned from friends and family adorned the old-time reception hall located in a park, cutting decorating costs immensely and truly making the wedding and reception reflect both their old and new lives.

Their photographer even made mention of the wedding in her online blog as one of the best DIY weddings she had witnessed!

If you or someone in your family is planning a wedding in the near future, try some DIY! Here are some titles to get you started.

One-of-a-Kind Handmade Weddings: Easy-to-Make Projects for Stylish, Unforgettable Details
by Laura Maffeo and Colleen Mullaney

Your Beautiful Wedding on Any Budget
by Todd Outcalt

Handmade Weddings: More than 50 Crafts to Style and Personalize Your Big Day
by Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle and Shana Faust

Monday, April 14, 2014

What Are Kids Made Of?

In the spirit of poetry month, I'd like to share this blog post from the Banks Street Center for Children's Literature. After reading the popular nursery rhyme "What Are Little Boys Made Of?," children at the Center felt compelled to write their own response poems about what they're really made of. Here is the original poem:

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.

And here are a few of the funny, honest poems written by real kids:

What are you made of? This would be a fun project to try with the kids this week. You may be surprised by the results!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Donuts Are Coming!!!

Stacey Koziel and Sara McLauchlin
Yes, the donuts are coming along with some really great information about starting your own business. Stacey Koziel and Sara McLauchlin, co-owners of Hello Donuts, will share all the creative inspiration that led them to start their business. You'll also get a taste of the uniquely delicious products they make. In addition, the library will share some fantastic business resources you may not know about. 

According to the FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, small businesses inject about a trillion dollars into the American economy. Small businesses have created on a net basis over 93% of new jobs over the past 15 years. 

US Dept. of Commerce statistics report there are about 97,000 firms in Indiana with 20 or fewer employees. Small businesses firms in Indiana, employ 427,000 citizens, and pay about 12.5 million in salary. Small business is big money in Indiana. Stop by the main library on April 16th at 6pm and learn more about small business start ups and resources. Oh, and there will be donuts.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thawing Out, But Frozen

Spring Break is a great time for family movies. Though our winter seemed like the worst ever, you can certainly thaw out and spring into Springtime with a movie about the cold. One of our Fish Lake Branch teen reviewers, Hannah Peters, summed up the movie Frozen like this:

"Frozen is a very cute, family-oriented movie. The beginning of Frozen starts out a little sad, but as the movie progresses it becomes very adventurous and comical. The move is mostly about people learning how to share their unique qualities with the world, as long as they also develop the maturity and responsibility to understand how their powers work and when it's the right time and place. The movie also shows how blood is thicker than love. Frozen is great for a rainy day, when you are unable to go outside, and just want to hangout with your family. Since this is a family-oriented comedy it is suitable for all age groups ranging from 1 to 100 years old! I personally love this movie and think it's very cute and heartfelt. Frozen is packed with beautiful songs and spectacular animations. Even though Frozen has a lot of positive perks, the one drawback it has is that it starts out pretty slow. With that being stated, I would give Frozen 4.5 stars."
Or you could reach into your memory and choose another of your all-time favorite Disney family flicks from the library for free--even less than Netflix or Redbox would cost you! Favorites from my family are Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. The library also has a great selection of other family and children's movies, plus classic cartoons like Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Woody Woodpecker Favorites and of course, Classic Cartoon Favorites starring Mickey Mouse and friends.

New iRead Preschool Storytimes!

Last month we kicked off a new kind of storytime at the library--iRead Storytime.  Storytimes at the library have always consisted of reading books, singing songs, and making a craft together. Now we are adding iPads to use alongside traditional services. Librarians connect their iPads with a TV to display what is on their screens. This allows everyone--big and little--to interact with the activity.   

Our goals are to introduce well-reviewed, educational apps to adults and to show adults how to use iPads, and other types of tablets, in a meaningful way with their children. 

Below is a recommended list of apps that we are using as part of iRead Storytime:

ABC monsters ($0.99)

Beck and Bo ($2.99)

Build a Truck ($2.99)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App! ($5.99)

Doodlecast ($2.99)

Doodlecast Pro ($4.99)

Endless ABC ($6.99)

Faces iMake ($3.99)

Felt Board (Software Smoothie) ($2.99)

Homer (Free)

Interactive Alphabet ($3.99)

Into the Snow ($1.99)

Little Fox Music Box ($2.99)

Monki Hide and Seek ($2.99)

Montessori Counting Board ($.99)
Mother Goose on the Loose (Software Smoothie) (Free)

Peekaboo: Find Hidden Fun UFO Characters ($1.99)
Piig Labs ($2.99)

Sago Mini Forest Flyer ($2.99)  

Sago Mini Sound Box ($2.99)

Songs For Kids (Free) 

We also have three suggestions for finding new apps: 
      1. Apps Gone Free
  • Every day there are free apps on the App Store. This app finds them all for you. Many of the apps offered are child appropriate.  
·     2. Common Sense Media ( 
  • This website reviews apps, movies, books, television shows, and video games to help you and your children have positive interactions with technology. 
3    3. Graphite ( 
  • In affiliation with Common Sense Media, Graphite reviews educational apps   to be used in a classroom.  

iRead Storytime is designed for preschool-aged children. We meet in Youth Services at 10am every Friday morning. We hope to see you there soon!