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November 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different

November 29, 2012 | Denise | Comments (0)

This blog was initially going to be about something entirely different. But it has been my experience that life happens and then one 's attention moves in another direction. For various reasons, I have recently been thinking about our connections with those closest to us - our families, friends and pets. Friends who wiggle their way into our lives until finally they too feel like family. Colleagues who don't realise just how important they are to us. The pets we own that we sometimes discover actually own us.  Perhaps the coming darker months are responsible for this absorption and introspection, but I don't feel any need to uncover the reasons, preferring to acccept these reflections at face value. The following author has, at alternate times of my life, proved to spark and reward much soul searching in the best of ways.

Jon katz
Jon Katz is an online journalist (Slashdot ) whose Running to the Mountain: A Journey of Faith and Change led me to keeping an eye out for his books for over a decade. Convinced that searching for the most meaningful life he could live was the only way to go, Katz has impressed thousands with his online blogs, his drastic move from urban New Jersey to sheep farming with border collies. Katz's books on dogs are always more than simply books on dogs. They are chatty, thoughtful, often provocative and always enlightening in the best ways possible. Here is an extract from one of his blogs on dealing with the pressures and fears of modern life:


"Fight back.  Build boundaries. Turn off your Facebook alerts. Connect and share less. Run off and buy a farm. Meditate every morning. Brush a donkey once a day. Herd sheep with a border collie. Watch chickens peck for bugs. Take dogs for a walk. Avoid status alerts, nobody needs to know where I am.  Do not have a TV in the house. Avoid tests and pills if possible. Do not watch “the news.” Meditate every evening. Seek love, every day. Do not argue your life, or join in arguments about other people’s lives. Do not judge other people, give unsought advice, or tell other people how to live or what to do.  Avoid anger, in yourself, in the legions of angry children of the modern world. Avoid labels like left or right."

While each book can be read on its own, my advice would be to read them in order of publication. This way, you will be in a position to join Katz's journey with all his wonderful ensemble of animals as they have impacted on his own life.

Healthy Eating

November 21, 2012 | Claire A | Comments (0)

 The holidays are quickly approaching and while I'm looking forward to celebrating with family and friends, I'm also dreading all of the food and dessert I will be eating.  I always try my best to eat healthy when I can but during the holidays, it's almost impossible not to splurge.  To avoid any "holiday weight gain", over the next month I plan on balancing my diet with lots of exercise, eating a light snack before parties, and loading my plate with vegetables.  Whether you are hosting or attending an event, you can always make a healthier option.  When I'm looking for inspiration on how to cook low calorie meals, I try recipes from some of these books.  Happy Holidays!!

Hungry  Now-Eat-This-Quick-Calorie-Solutions-DiSpirito-Rocco-9780446584524      Cookinglight


Goodhousekeeping    Soutbeach500 400

Come Dine with Me

November 15, 2012 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Hosting dinner parties is not a new cultural activity – people have been doing this for as long as we can remember. With popular and incredibly addictive reality shows like Come Dine with Me Canada, there seems to be a craze for perfecting the art of the dining experience or at the very least giving a good impression to your guests. 

If you are concerned about the particulars of meal, table and entertainment preparations here are some books that can help you out. If you are skeptical about reading books on this topic, just remember that a professional – one who has perfected the art in their own way – is giving you invaluable insights into the process in ways which you may not have otherwise thought of.  You don't have to clone the process, but use it to get new ideas and make it your own.

Seriously-simple-parties   Laura calder   Youre-so-invited

Soireent   Dinnertalk   Celebratori

Get up and Move While you Read! Great books for preschoolers who won't sit still.

November 5, 2012 | Kate S. | Comments (1)

I frequently get asked to recommend children’s books that involve movement.  Toddlers and preschoolers enjoy stories that have an element of participation in them.  These types of books are great when they don’t want to sit still for a story.  They allow the children to move around and engage in the story in a different way.  This type of reading can be just as valuable as sitting and looking at a book, as it still addresses the six pre-reading skills identified in the Ready for Reading Program.  Here are some of my favourite books that get children moving:


Can you make a Scary FaceCan you Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

This funny book by Jan Thomas gets kids rolling on the floor with laughter.  A great read for small or large groups of children. Play "let's pretend" with a ladybug, as she gets kids to stand up, sit down, shake, and of course, make a scary face!


Cat-SecretsCat Secrets by Jef Czekaj

The secret of how best to live a cat's life will be revealed only to those who can prove that they are genuine cats.  This cute and humorous book gets kids meowing, purring, and stretching along with the cats.


From Head to ToeFrom Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Animals encourage the reader to exercise by getting them to follow their movements.  As always, Carle's pictures and text are great for young readers and their parents.




Here Are My Hands Here are My Handsby Bill Martin

This book goes through various parts of the body, pointing out the parts and mentioning their functions, from "hands for catching and throwing" to the "skin that bundles me in."  




If You're Happy and You Know itIf You're Happy and You Know it (Jungle Edition) by James Warhola

Jungle animals sing the verses of this popular song.  Kids have a great time roaring, crawling, stomping, jumping and flapping like the animals in the book.



The Seals on the Bus
Seals on the Busby Lenny Hort

In another twist on a popular song, this one, Wheels On the Bus, animals including seals, tigers, geese, rabbits, monkeys, and more make their own sounds as they ride all around the town on a bus. Children enjoy singing along, and making the various animal sounds and actions.

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