1. Appleton Summer Events 2014

    One of my favorite things about the Library is knowing that we are one of those rare places you can call and speak to a human rather than a recording. Many are surprised, however, when they call the City of Appleton's General Information line and we, the Library Reference Desk, answer that number to help connect you with the City Department or service that addresses your need. Right before summer kicks off, we begin to field a large number of calls on the same topics. Hopefully this info helps you plan for the summer months:
  2. Try Something New

    I was walking by the non-fiction new books display when the striking cover on Acrylic Solutions caught my eye.   I checked it out just to look at the color combinations and, unexpectedly, was able to use it to finish a project at home.


  3. Sword Workout

    Forza, the samurai sword workout by Ilaria Montagnani

    I have already testified my love of Ilaria Montagnani’s kickboxing DVDs.

  4. Bread Baking

    The Italian Baker, by Carol Field

    I started baking bread somewhat regularly when I was given the first edition of Carol Field’s The Italian Baker.  Since then I have learned a lot about bread making and highly recommend the following books to those who would like to learn strong fundamentals or to improve their existing technique.

  5. Low & No-Sugar Jams

    Preserving with Pomona's pectin : the revolutionary low-sugar, high-flavor method for crafting and canning jams, jellies, conserves, and more

    Late this winter while ordering books for the Library, I selected 'Preserving with Pomona's Pectin.' I had not heard of it, but apparently this pectin has been around for a couple decades. In contrast to typical pectins that require a ton of sugar to set up, Pomona combines pectin made from citrus peels with calcium powder to create the gel. Consequently, you can use very low or even no sugar in your jams and preserves.

  6. Rushfit 8 week program

    Georges St. Pierre's 'Rushfit' program

    I am more than half way through MMA fighter Georges St. Pierre’s 8 week Rushfit program. I love it, especially how quickly I see gains in strength without injuries or soreness. (I should add that I am only doing the workout portion and never even read all the way through the nutrition aspect of it.)

  7. Kickboxing DVDs

    Kickboxing DVDs

    Kickboxing is probably my absolute favorite workout. If you enjoy a tough workout without too much instructor-perkiness, it might be for you, too. This review covers three different kickboxing instructors that I most certainly recommend, all of whom are available for checkout at the Library.

  8. Ballet Beautiful series

    Ballet Beautiful series

    After training Natalie Portman for her role in “Black Swan,” ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers has re-released two ballet-inspired workout videos under new titles. I enjoyed them, but found the lack of modifications for people who do not have a ballet dancer’s turnout – practically everyone – was cause for concern. Even though, of course, ballet dancers are extremely strong, I also found it comically demoralizing that someone with such a non-muscular build could be that much stronger than I.

  9. Born to be Mild

    Smithsonian magazine, January 2013

    The cover story for the January 2013 edition of Smithsonian magazine, “Born to Be Mild,” asks whether babies are born knowing right from wrong; it reports on various infant and toddler research that aims to discover from where (or when) morality and altruism comes.


  10. Ballet Body series Workout DVDs

    Leah Sarago's Ballet Body series

    Here’s another workout DVD review that could be added to the “videos that sort-of make me think I’m going to die, yet I love them” list.

    Leah Sarago’s three-part Ballet Body series incorporates elements of ballet, Pilates, yoga, and athletic moves. As always, you need to think about proper pelvic and spinal alignment while doing the exercises, but she’s pretty good at cuing correct positioning. The videos, aside from tremendous strength-building, incorporate a lot of flexibility and balance work. I put these in when I want to work really hard but don’t want the extreme cardio of Brooklyn Bridge or one of my kickboxing DVDs. She does not include a warm-up at all, so you want to make sure to warm up your muscles before starting these.

  11. Workout DVD: Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp

    Workout DVD: Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp

    I can’t resist -- here’s another review of a workout DVD. This one could be the first in a new series: “videos that sort-of make me think I’m going to die, yet I love them.”

  12. Where Do I Vote?

    It's one of the most popular questions this time of year at the Library: Where do I vote?

  13. Chai Tea Concentrate

    Chai Tea Concentrate
    'Tis the season. Here's a recipe for a chai tea concentrate that you can make at home and keep in your refrigerator for at least a week. The original recipe was given to me by the Teen Librarian Assistant and, over the course of four variations, I finally came up with proportions that worked best for me (spicy, not sweet).
  14. Ellen Barrett Workout DVDs

    Skinny Sculpt
    For nearly a year in 2011, a coworker and I went through almost all of Ellen Barrett’s workout DVDs, reporting daily on what we thought and, as we used them repeatedly, whether and where our muscles were sore or if difficult moves were becoming easy. Increasingly amusing was discussing whether, in the aftermath, we found it difficult to perform mundane tasks such as walking up stairs or picking up paper that we dropped on the floor.
  15. Dance-inspired Workout DVDs

    Bellydance: Cardio ShimmyI am at the tail-end of my first week of the two-week vacation I saved up for this year. Today I decided to do some of the 9 workout videos that I checked out on my last day of work before vacation.

Subscribe to Sara