Starbucks + Christmas – Christmas = ???

10890728_1234187126596633_2133648073_nBy now, you’ve probably all heard the crazy argument going around the internet about Starbucks and their “plain” holiday cups this year. If you haven’t, you’re lucky. But just to summarize, when Starbucks rolled out their annual red cups November 1st, a former pastor in the US took offense to the fact that they were so plain, and free of all Christmas references, which he took to mean that Starbucks hates Christians, of course.

Now, as far as anyone can tell, holiday references in Starbucks’ previous red cups were only things like ornaments, or reindeer….and not really any religious references. This year, they kept the cups clean—only a graduated ombre to the deep red—to “usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories”, claims Starbucks President Jeffrey Fields. So why the pastor chose to take this fight to such an extreme level (and really, it has nothing much to do with being Christian and celebrating Christmas at all), leaves everyone stumped. He started up a campaign online to get people to say their name was Merry Christmas, so that the Starbucks employees would have to write that on the cups, and therefore, keep the Christmas at Starbucks, as well as fight the fight using the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks.


Red cups, blue cups, reindeer or no deer….what does it matter? Coffee and books go together,and we’re fans of Starbucks here at the library. Does anyone really passionately care what the design is on the cup? Unless you’re the one who designed it, I don’t think so.

I’m pretty sure this former pastor, Joshua Feuerstein, who now calls himself a “social media personality”, just needs to chill out, and maybe take up adult colouring as a form of relaxation.

Just keep the red pencils away from him.

(Speaking of adult colouring, join us at the library on Wednesday, November 25th at 6:30pm for some fun zen colouring. There may even be Christmas things to colour!)


20151106_100614-1We’re hosting a cookie exchange at the library this year! It’s a festive celebration of community…and cookies!

Drop in during the month of December to pick up some new cookie recipes to try out, and sign up for the exchange. We’re taking registrations up until December 14th! Then, on December 17th, bring your creations to the Library Cookie Exchange to share, and take home a wide-variety of treats made by other participants! Make this an easy holiday….all your cookie making will be done for you!

What is YOUR food?

food5.jpgWe all love food, but we all have our own favourites. Sure, there are many great cookbooks out there like the ones shown above, but what are the recipes you love the most? The ones you return to? The ones your Grandmother used to make? Instead of keeping millions of food-stained pieces of paper, why not put together a “Family Cookbook”, filled with the recipes that mean something to you and your loved ones, complete with stories and photos to accompany it!

What is a family cookbook?

A family cookbook is an ambitious undertaking. You’ll need at least a dozen recipes, and photos of the food once it is made. But if you’re looking for something unique and wonderful to give to special people in your life this holiday season, now is the time to start planning.

Why would anyone want to make a family cookbook?

It’s not simply about organizing your recipes…it’s a way to pass on favourites from generation to generation. And everyone has at least one wonderful cook in the family, so bring them in on it. They’ll be a big help!

How do you even begin?

First, gather up some recipes that you love. Ask family members for some of theirs, and talk to other family members about recipes they loved as children, and try to find similar recipes online.

Next, pick 10 – 12 favourites—–any more might be too ambitious for this project. Now, make sure the ingredients and directions are clear. Type out each recipe as its own word document and save.  You’ll need these later to upload to a book design program.

This is the hardest part. Ask someone who takes great photos to help. Check Instagram and Facebook for great food photos taken by your friends or family members at restaurants (everyone loves to take photos of their food, right?). You’ll need some good lighting, and a simple counter top. Now go and cook. Try to take the nicest photos of each dish that you can….make sure the plates are free of splatters, and that you take it from an angle that doesn’t look unappealing, or too shadowy.

Now all you have to do is upload everything to an online photo book design site, like Blurb, Shutterfly, or even your local Staples or Walmart. There are a variety of options and pricing you can choose from—just upload your photos and the word document recipes, and you can arrange everything the way you like it, including a cover!

This would be a great option for an “easy” gift for family. Print multiple copies and they’ll ship everything to you when it’s finished.

Give it a try…make your own Family Cookbook!


Gearing up for fall, a lot of people are thinking about back-to-school lunches, and dinners for the family. This is a great time to gather up some new cookbooks from the library and try out new recipes. And we have a lot of fabulous books here to try out!

food2.jpgYou can find our catalog right here.

But the idea of trying out new foods got me thinking about the idea of eating differently altogether. While a lot of people look to become vegan, or vegetarians, it’s not an option for everyone. How about becoming a “reducetarian”? Haven’t heard of that? Me either, until recently.

It turns out, reducetarianism is a “new” movement focused on trying to eat less meat, not all meat or animal products. And to start, they recommend just giving it a go for 30 days. This is something totally doable, I think. And while cutting back on meat and animal products won’t totally win you a spot on the vegan team, it will bring about a lot of health benefits, simply because in order to reduce that meat option, you’ll likely add in more vegetables. It’s a win-win!

Thinking about giving it a go? Drop in and pick up some tasty new recipes for the fall, and see if you can find a few new options that don’t include meat. It’s a great challenge for fall.


Salad a Day

Here is an interesting idea to get you through the end of the year. It has nothing to do with libraries or books, but everything to do with having enough energy to do everything you need to in the next few weeks. On the interesting lifestyle website, SMAGGLE, they have set up a 30-day Instagram Salad-a-Day challenge! Print out the list, read through the suggestions, and then get eating those greens! It’ll be fun to get a bit creative, and to work some salad back into your daily intake during the holidays. (Salad? Does it come in a cookie format?)


Read through the whole post. They give some great suggestions to get you thinking outside the box.  And you don’t have to belong to Instagram. You can also post your photos to Facebook. Just be sure to use the hashtag #smagglesaladaday and tag @smaggle in your post. Easy, isn’t it? If you start today, you’ll be on Day 16–“Asian” is the theme today. Mmmm…crunchy noodles.

Tips for photographing food? If you’ve seen any of Martha Stewart’s awful food posts on Instagram, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you don’t want your pictures to look like. Instead, make sure your plate is clean around the edges, try to take a photo before you eat anything, make sure the lighting is really good, and aim for a photo taken from above, not off to the side. Remember, look at everything in the shot…..not just the food. Is there something on the table? Is someone making faces in the background? All of these things will make your shot less appealing, and you want people to ooh and ahh over your salad photos, right? Right!

Happy Salad Days!

Join us for some Lemonade!

Yes, it’s almost here…the TD Summer Reading Club begins tomorrow at the Carleton Place Public Library. And to get everything going with a bang, we’re having our 2nd Annual Library Lemonade Stand Kick-Off to celebrate!



Join us between 1 – 3pm for a nice, cool glass of lemonade. We’ll hand out summer calendars, invitations to join, teen brochures, and this year, we’ll even have something special for adults who would like to take part in a little summer reading of their own! You’ll find us on the front steps of the library, so stop and say hello. And although the lemonade is free, we’d certainly appreciate any donations toward the summer program if you feel like helping out.

See you tomorrow!

Picnic Like It’s 1914!

museumAre you ready to Picnic Like It’s 1914? July 12 from 12-4pm go to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for live music, children games and activities, photo booth, and more! Stop by from 12-1pm and see Wayne Cavanagh from Jack FM!

If you haven’t been to the museum, what are you waiting for? It’s such a fun place to visit and the people are so friendly, you’ll go back often. And who wouldn’t want to picnic like it’s 1914?