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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 [...]

Second Week of Giveaways; Job Search Central

The Kenton County Public Library wants to help you with your job search, boost your resume and get you the computer skills you need.  We are giving away an eReader case, along with a $20 Amazon gift card (to possibly use on job search book or magazine), a bookmark on how to download free eBooks from the Library, a tote bag, library card holder and a cool cup! But first, let’s talk about some of the ways the Library can help with your job search. Do you see yourself or a friend in any of the following scenarios? Downsized professional? Stay at home Mom returning to the paid workforce? Thinking about changing careers? Recent college graduate? Senior looking for part-time work? Skilled tradesman with no computer skills? Looking to grow your current job skills? Then think of the Kenton County Public Library as Job Search Central. The library has a myriad of resources available to aid you in your job search and help you grow your career skills. Turn to the library’s website to find the best and most up-to-date books on the job search hunt, career change, writing powerful resumes, composing strong cover letters and developing fresh interviewing skills. Our collection development staff ensures that the latest editions of “What Color Is Your Parachute?”  by Richard Nelson Bolles and “Knock’em Dead Resumes”  by Martin Yate are always available to library users. No two job seekers are alike, so resources are selected to serve the needs of job searchers in diverse situations. You can find both hard cover and eBooks on resume writing for executives, preparing for positions with the Federal government or seeking a new job out of prison. The website also has links [...]

Share Your Favorite Books & Movies

I have one child in middle school and one in high school. I am lucky that they both have a natural love of reading. My son will find a series he loves and read every single book (Conspiracy 365 being the most recent). Once he's finished, he'll look for other books written by that author. My daughter mostly chooses her books based on her friends' recommendations but once in a while she'll still ask Ms. Amy at the Covington Branch what she should read next. I always loved sharing children's books with my kids but now that they are older, I really enjoy sharing some of my favorite adult and YA books with them. We are also able to discover new books together. All three of us read the Hunger Games trilogy. This led to so many discussions in our home. My kids immediately got that this was about so much more than kids killing kids. These books started conversations about how government works, the division of classes, white and blue collared jobs, how a small group can make a difference and so much more. To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite book of all time. My daughter took a stab at it in sixth grade but found it confusing. Now that she is in ninth grade she is trying again and loving it. I can't wait until she finishes it so we can watch the movie together and discuss the book in-depth. I have decided to reread Flowers in the Attic since watching the recent Lifetime Movie. I'm hoping my daughter will want to read that as well. I am looking forward to The Outsiders being a book all three of us can share a love for. It's fun to pick [...]

Snow Day Fun

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?

Spooky Stories In Your Own Backyard

Reserve a copy of Kentucky Hauntings Homespun Ghost Stories and Unexplained History by Roberta Simpson Brown and Lonnie E. Brown today! Looking to read about ghosts, spirits, phantoms, or unexplained phenomena? Want to read a spooky story about Kentucky or one that originates in your own back yard? Do you think your house may be haunted and want to research its history? Look no further than the Kenton County Public Library. We have numerous local history books and resources filled with haunting tales, ghost stories, and documented unexplained experiences that will give you a good fright just in time for Halloween. If you're thirsting for spooky tales from Kentucky, sink your teeth into Ghosts Across Kentucky by William Lynwood Montell or Ghosts, Spirits, and Angels True Tales from Kentucky and Beyond by Thomas Lee Freese. If you have regional supernatural interests, try Haunted Louisville: History and Hauntings from the Derby City by Robert W. Parker or Appalachian Ghost Stories Tales from Bloody Breathitt by Jerry Deaton. For local hauntings, dare to turn the pages of Cincinnati Ghosts and other Tristate Haunts by Karen Laven, or The Cincinnati Haunted Handbook and Haunted Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio by Jeff Morris and Michael A. Morris. Or, if you don’t find the truth stranger than fiction, A Vampire in Covington by Tim Kelly is a new addition to our Kentucky Fiction collection that incorporates many famous people and locations from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Join paranormal investigators Zak, Nic and Aaron as they investigate the paranormal experiences at Bobby Mackey's Music World. Also, don’t forget to read or re-read books about the widely-known Northern Kentucky haunting of Bobby Mackey’s Music World. Books in our collection include Haunting Experiences at Bobby Mackey’s by Christel Brooks, and the fictional Hell’s Gate: Terror at Bobby Mackey’s Music [...]

Spring Garden Preparation

  Whether you are getting ready to plant fruits and vegetables, or planning a beautiful flower garden, there are things that you must do in order to guarantee the best results for your garden this spring. This post, along with materials (see video and Pinterest page) from the Kenton County Public Library should help. Preparing your garden doesn’t have to be complicated. Enjoy a sunny afternoon by donning your gardening gloves and taking these four easy, basic steps for gardens big or small, perennial or vegetable. 1.  Basic Maintenance Start your spring gardening with some basic maintenance. Remove any covers you used to protect plants during the winter, and perform any repairs or servicing on gardening tools and equipment. Better to have problems with the lawnmower fixed now, rather than mid-summer. Take a walk around the garden looking for signs of winter damage. Paving stones may heave with freezing and thawing, fences may need repainting or repair work, and decks need cleaning. 2.  Prepping Garden Beds Winter snow or rain compacts bedding soil, so you’ll need to prep your beds in advance of planting. Remove winter mulch or, if it’s compostable, dig it into the soil. Use a spading fork to aerate the soil, breaking up clogs of dirt. You want to make the soil lighter and capable of holding water and air. At this point it is time to test the soil for deficiencies and amend if necessary. Soil Testing The tests provide the levels of pH, nitrate, phosphorus, potassium, organic matter and sometimes lead and other metal levels.  It is recommended to test the soil each season with a home soil test kit you can buy at the hardware store. Amending the Soil Based on [...]

Thanksgiving Preparation

So the whole family is coming for dinner and you want things to be perfect - the food, the music, the decor... everything. Where to begin? Don't worry, the Kenton County Public Library has you covered! 1. The Menu! You should finalize your Thanksgiving menu about one week in advance. So shoot for a final menu on Thursday, Nov. 21. My Thanksgiving menu is set with traditional items like turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls and stuffing followed by pumpkin and apple pie. But I like to liven things up a bit each year by picking a new stuffing or cranberry sauce recipe or even something new all together from one of the thousands of cookbooks that can be found at the library. This year I will glance through Thanksgiving: how to cook it well by Sam Sifton, 2012, The pioneer woman cooks : a year of holidays : 140 step-by-step recipes for simple sumptuous celebrations by Ree Drummond, 2013 and Fine Cooking Thanksgiving cookbook: recipes for turkey and all the trimmings by editors of Fine cooking magazine, 2012 for new ideas. 2. The Online Entertainment! You don't want your guests bored prior to dinner, dozing off after dinner or dreaming about Black Friday shopping so liven the place up with free music and movies. Freegal and Hoopla are always available on the library's website, even when the library is closed. They don't have waiting lists or holds either! All you need is an Internet connection and a Kenton County Public Library Card. You can download three free songs per week from Freegal so start stocking up now! Your music doesn't have to be Thanksgiving themed. Just something fun and upbeat. The top downloaded songs at the Library are currently Walk [...]

Third Week of Giveaways; Making Life for Educators a Little Easier at KCPL!

The Kenton County Public Library supports education in our community in several ways including special library cards for teachers and specific programs for homeschoolers. For week three of giveaways, we have a pencil pouch filled with goodies, a Library tote bag, several bookmarks and a $20 gift card to John R. Green. But first, let’s talk about some of the ways the Library can help make education a little easier at home and in the classroom. Biology, social studies, geometry; oh my! Being a teacher that provides schooling at home or in the classroom can be a lot to handle at times; balancing curriculums and finding the right books to pair with a lesson takes time, but the library is here to help.  Most people don’t know that we have services catered specifically to help teachers and students in a homeschool setting. All three branches of the Kenton County Public Library now host homeschool programs on a regular basis that teach your child the subjects they need to learn. We’ve had huge success with these programs and we’re always eager to see new faces. While at our programs, children have created rock candy and cracked open geodes while learning about geology, visited the Extension Office to learn about growing and harvesting, and explored chemical reactions by combining Mentos and Diet Coke to make a skateboard rocket. Each program offers an exciting topic and new opportunities to learn through hands-on activities and visual aids, not to mention interaction with their peers. Our programs are designed to be stand-alone lessons, making them a great supplement to what you’re already teaching your children at home. We like to have fun, but we take our programs seriously. We pay [...]

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

Turning Clutter Into Cash

  Many people have trouble decluttering because they see their clutter as piles of cash that they spent. I know that I am less of an impulse shopper now that I have given away items that I had to have but then never used. Decluttering is humbling. You realize you have more than you need and often wish you could have a "do over" and get that money back. Before the great recession of 2008, I could make a great deal of money back on my used items through garage sales, eBay sales and consignment stores. But since the recession - many people have joined the resale community and driven down the price people are willing to pay for used items. This spring as you are decluttering your house, set up a selling and donation staging area. You can earn some summer fun money by taking your items to various resale shops. 1. Garage Sales If you have a LOT to get rid of, you may want to consider a garage sale. I have had good luck with selling furniture, children's items and craft supplies. If you are going to have a garage sale - set up an area of your home NOW to start collecting your "treasures." Set a date and work like crazy to have all of your decluttering done by that date. {NOTE for 3 years I had garage sales in the spring and fall. It took me 6 garage sales to get my clutter to a manageable level!} Set up EARLY and be prepared for people to come even earlier. I usually have mine on a Friday from 8-2 and Saturday 8-12. I don't even price my items anymore. You can [...]

Wedding Planning 101: Check Out the Library!

Wedding Planning 101: Check Out the Library! Krysta and Sam get Married Statistics show that over 4 million couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day. Wow! Four million couples will be hunting for the perfect dress, venue, caterer, decorations and more in just a few days. Four million! Perfect guy—check. Perfect ring—check. Picturesque engagement—check. Now what?  If your head is spinning and you have no idea where to start planning your big day, or if you just need some inspiration, come to the Kenton County Public Library! The library is an abundant source on all kinds of free wedding planning materials. I didn’t spend a penny on wedding magazines or books because I borrowed them all from the library. From books and magazines, to free databases and online services, the library had everything I needed to inspire me to plan my dream wedding this past October. Getting Started—Words of Wisdom and Establishing a Budget Before you get started, it’s a good idea to read up on customs, common practices, and etiquette to figure out what is important to you. For me, etiquette was one of the most stressful aspects of planning a wedding. A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene helped me through sticky situations when I didn’t know what to do. It’s also a good idea (not to mention fun!), to read about the history of weddings and how certain traditions came to be, like wearing a white dress! You may even decide to ditch tradition and make your own like I did. Finding your Venue, Music, Photographer, etc. Don’t have access to the internet at home? Come to the library! Pop in to use our free wi-fi to do some research or use [...]

Welcome to the Library Blog

Welcome to the Kenton County Public Library Blog. I promise this won't be boring and is totally worth the read. We will update the blog every Tuesday with posts about library materials and its services and relevant topics to the community. The posts will include topics on children's, teens, adults, history and genealogy, outreach and more. Several of your favorite staff members will contribute to the blog. We will also have fun contests and giveaways. In fact, let's have one now. I have a cool Kenton County Public Library tote bag filled with goodies, including four tickets to the Cincinnati Museum Center (donated). Ways you can win: 1. Leave a comment here letting us know what you would like us to write about (required). 2. Become a fan of the Kenton County Public Library on Facebook and comment here that you did: http://www.facebook.com/KentonCountyPublicLibrary 3. Tell a friend about our blog through Twitter or Facebook and comment here that you did. 4. Subscribe to our blog. You must do # 1 to be entered. Doing #2-4 will earn you extra chances to win. Enter to win by Monday, Oct. 1 at noon. Be sure to include your email address. Good luck!

Willy Wonka Jr. Ticket Giveaway

Most of us know Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir. But it's not everyday we get to watch it come to life in this stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which features the songs from the classic family film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka JR. featuring a memorable score by Leslie Bricusse (Jekyll & Hyde, Doctor Dolittle) and Anthony Newley, follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likable young lad named Charlie Bucket who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka's rules in the factory--or suffer the consequences. Bob Herzog, Local 12 News Anchor/Reporter and inventor of Dance Party Friday, will play Willy Wonka. Tickets start at $11 each. Public performance times include: Friday, April 4 at 7:30 PM Saturday, April 5 at 2 PM Saturday, April 5 at 5 PM Sunday, April 6 at 2 PM Saturday, April 12 at 2 PM Kenton County Public Library is giving away a voucher for four tickets to Ronald Dahl's Willy Wonka Jr. on Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. or Saturday, April 5 at 5 p.m. How to enter to win: You have four chances to win. Comment separately for each entry for each chance to be considered. Enter by noon on Monday, March 24. The [...]

You and Your Pets

Pets are an integral parts of our families, our lives, and our hearts. Whether you have cats, dogs, fish, a snake, a family of tarantulas or ferrets, you understand the importance of those amazing creatures and the impact they have on you and your life. If you do have a dog, or several, Kenton County has a lovely dog-centered park.Pioneer Park in Covington has a great pet-friendly area called the Kenton Paw Park! The Park features 3 enclosed areas for large dogs and 2 specifically for small dogs. The park also offers events like a Pool Party, photos with Santa, and the annual Beast Bash.Visit the park's website and the Kenton County Parks & Rec website for more information.  Looking for a place to meet your new best friend? The Kenton County Animal Shelter is the place to go! Use their Petfinder service to search for the pet that best suits you and your family. You can also get your pet's annual license and get them micro-chipped at the KC Animal Shelter. Check out this video of their featured pets! If the weather isn't coopering with you or your pet stop by the library or check out my pet-friendly Pinterest board, to get some books and videos to keep you both entertained! Here are some of my favorites:     This post was written by Eden Rassette, Young Adult Programmer at the Kenton County Public Library's Erlanger Branch. You can find her online at The Otaku Librarian.

By |January 28th, 2014|Categories: Around the Community, At Home|0 Comments