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Festive Holiday Baking

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

I love the smell of fresh bake bread. Something about it just makes me feel so warm inside. I'm no professional baker, but I quite enjoy the process. I like the fact that the ingredients are precise and unlike cooking, no fancy knife skills are required. Baking is a way for me to escape and go to my little happy place. Although sometimes I want to pull my hair out because I overbaked or it just didn't turn out the way it does in the picture. Through my times of experimenting, I found one receipe that always seem to work and as an added bonus it's a crowd pleaser!

Here's the receipe that never seems to fail. These cupcakes are so moist even if you still have a few sitting around a couple days later (which never seems the case).

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1 medium sized banana)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) canola, corn, or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Line 12 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. (The batter is quite thin)
  5. Pour or scoop the batter into the muffin cups, about 3/4 full, and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  7. Frost with your favorite buttercream frosting.

(You can check out http://www.joyofbaking.com/cupcakes/BananaChocolateCupcakes.html for more information)

There's always a recipe that I fall back to in situations of parties and potlucks. Do you have one to share? If so, please leave it in the comments, I would love to try it!

Holiday BakingChristmas BakingBakingCake Boss

Did you know that we also have books for Gluten free baking? (I wouldn't forget about you guys!)

Gluten Free BakingGluten Free BakingGluten Free

The last week of Teen Afterschool: Dec 16-19

The last week of Teen Afterschool: Dec 16-19

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

Teen Afterschool

Hi guys, Here’s what we are doing for the week of December 16th to December 19th. Stop by Monday to Thursday from 4:00 to 5:30pm. Study space (and snacks) are available as well.

Monday December 16th – Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament and Video Gaming

Yu-Gi-Oh – Special Announcement: Since this is the last tournament of the year, everyone who participates will automatically get a FREE BOSTER PACK

yugioh

Don’t have a Yu-Gi-Oh deck ? Don’t worry about it, we have 3 loaners you can sign out. Don’t know how to play? Someone can teach you.

*Be there at 4:00 sharp if you want to enter

Halo

Video Gaming – I know you guys will be on break soon and will probably be glued to your gaming systems (I know I will when I’m on vacation) but until then, we’ve got your gaming fix. Fifa 13, Halo 4, Super Smash Bros., Just Dance, Wipeout, and tons of other games await you today. If you have 2 broken thumbs or couldn’t care less about video games, we have computers and board games as well.

Tuesday December 17th – Two Wheel View Bike Club

Bike Repair

This will be the sixth week of our bike club and the final week before your winter break. Don’t worry, we’ll pick up again in January once your back in school. If you’re not registered in the program, you’re out of luck for this time. We are taking registration for the next session which starts in February however. If you’re tired of walking everywhere and want to earn a FREE BIKE (possibly even an armored quadricycle) to ride around on in style, let Liz or Trevor know and we can add you to the list.

Bike

Wednesday December 18th –Giant Jenga and Video Games

Jenga

Giant Jenga – The Jenga set in this picture is actually 100% to scale. Yes, it is really that big! The man in the picture however, is only 3 feet tall. On a normal person, our Giant Jenga comes up to your waist (which is still pretty impressive). And while it hasn’t outright attacked anyone like in the picture above, it has come down hard a few times though and nearly taken kids out. Bring your hard hats and steel toe boots if you’ll be participating.

Video gaming Here’s your second dose of video games for the week. Xbox, Wii, boardgames, and computers are all available for those afraid of falling Jenga blocks.

Thursday December 19th – HOLIDAY PARTY!!!!

Tis’ the season to be jolly. And what’s jollier than some FREE PIZZA and FREE GIFTS? If you’re feeling in the festive mood, come by the library for our wrap-up Holiday Party. We’ll have crafts to get crafty with and an Xmas movie (Xmas not X-Men) to watch while you chow down on your pizza. We will also have a gift-exchange for the first 20 or so of you who arrive.

Pizza

Sure there are some goofy joke gifts but there will also be some pretty great stuff to open (or steal) including EBgames and Cineplex giftcards.

Celebration

Staff Picks: Finding Jack

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

Finding Jack

Author Gareth Crocker, New York: St. Martin’s Press (2011)

This story is set in 1970s around the Vietnam War. After losing his wife and daughter in a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson joins the war in hopes that he will die in the war. However upon arrival at the camp, he meets a yellow Labrador retriever who was severely injured and nurses it back to health. He never knew that this little companion helped him regain his will to live.

The story then takes another turn where the war has ended, and now it’s time for the troops to return home. However, due to cost of withdrawal, all dogs serving the war was considered “surplus military equipment,” and will not be transported back home. Fletcher cannot leave his new found friend behind, and so their journey begins…

Be sure to have a box of tissues near by! *sniff sniff*

Picture Books that Spark Conversation

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

Reading books to children can be a magical thing! Picture books can make you laugh, make you cry and make you marvel at their lovely illustrations. They can also be a starting point for fabulous conversations. Here’s a collection of fantastic picture books that can spark conversations with your preschool aged kids!

Otis and the Tornado

Otis and The Tornado (Loren Long)

Otis has quickly become one of my favorite picture book characters. Otis and the Tornado is the second book starring Otis, his pal the little calf, and all of their farm friends. What will Otis do when a tornado threatens his friends and his farm? Find out as your preschooler discovers the book’s beautiful vocabulary! This is a great book to start conversations about friendship and first impressions.

Willoughby and the Moon

Willoughby & The Moon (Greg Foley)

Willoughby & The Moon has marvelous illustrations. They're entirely black, white and shiny silver, which I love. Thankfully, the story is equally fantastic. Willoughby is scared of the dark and one night he ventures into his closet to find…the moon! There, Willoughby meets a giant snail and discovers that even when you're scared, you can still do something brave. This book can spark conversations about being adventurous, trying things when you're unsure, and of course, great imagination stories about the moon!


A Home for Bird

A Home For Bird (Philip C. Stead)

Vernon the toad meets a quiet blue bird and strives to help Bird find his way home. Philip C. Stead (author), and his wife Erin (illustrator), have a tendency to put out completely endearing children's books that I immediately fall in love with. A Sick Day For Amos McGee is incredibly sweet and won the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Bear Has A Story To Tell is just as charming! A Home For Bird, is, however, a solo effort by Philip and matches the loveliness of the collaborations he has had with his wife. A story of friendship that never gives up! Conversations about friendship and kindness are sure to follow this read.


Grumpy Goat

Grumpy Goat (Brett Helquist)

Brett Helquist tells the story of a grumpy goat who has never had a friend. The other animals on the farm try to befriend the goat, only to be rebuffed at every turn. After the goat discovers a bright and beautiful flower, he begins to soften. In the end, another story of friendship and opening up your heart! Grumpy Goat is great for talking with kids about patience with others and reaching out to those who may not be the friendliest.

Little Cub

Little Cub (Olivier Dunrea)
Little Cub tells us of a little cub living alone near the forest and an old bear living alone in the forest; both lonely and wishing for something more. One day, they stumble across each other's path and find their missing piece. A beautiful story for parents and children especially those who came together through adoption. This book can be a great starting point for talking about adoption!

Penguin and Pinecone

Penguin and Pinecone (Salina Yoon)

I see a pattern on my kids bookshelves at home. They're filled with sweet stories of friendship. Penguin and Pinecone is no different. Penguin and Pinecone's friendship spans the years and shows that, "When you give love, it grows." Simple illustrations and not too many words have made this a new favorite. Do your kids have friends that have moved away? This book is great to spark conversations about long distance friendships in a way that little ones will understand.


-Reviewed by Jenn

Teen Afterschool Nov 18-21

Teen Afterschool Nov 18-21

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

Teen Afterschool

Stop by Monday to Thursday from 4:00 to 5:30pm. Study space (and snacks) are available as well.

Monday November 18th

Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament and Video Gaming

YuGiOh

Yu-Gi-Oh – Test your Yu-Gi-Oh skills in our single elimination challenge. Winners get prizes including booster packs.

Bonus Challenge: Alright, so no one came dressed up as a Yu-Gi-Oh character which was pretty disappointing.

I have a new challenge for you...

Play an entire game using dramatic poses like the above pic. Every time you play a card, you have to shout the spell’s name is a stern and serious voice…ideally while keeping a straight face. Do that and you’ll win a prize (which may or may not be a high-five).

Don’t have a deck ? Don’t worry about it, we have 3 loaners you can sign out. Don’t know how to play? Someone can teach you.

*Be there at 4:00 sharp if you want to enter*

Goal

Gaming – Gooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaal!!!!

(Halo 4, WWE 13, and a slew of Wii games are available as well if soccer ain’t your thing.

Tuesday November 19th

Two Wheel View Bike Club

Monkey on Bike

Welcome to week 2 of our bike club. If you’re not registered, you’re out of luck for this time. If you are registered, I’m happy to report that you’ll each earn a brand new chimpanzee with your bicycle. As seen in the picture above (hat not included).

If you’re not among the lucky ones who’ll be earning a monkey and a bicycle, grab a snack and sign out a board game from the front desk.

Thursday November 21st

Food Challenge at Bob Bahan Pool

Free food at the pool today! You know what they say about free food don’t you? It’s awesome! It doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it’s free and edible, it’s awesome! That’s why Costco is the greatest store on earth, free samples.

If you too are a free food aficionado, come by the pool at 4:00 pm (or meet us at the library at 3:45 to head over with us).

Mystery Dish

Wednesday November 20th

Going Places and Video Games

Going Places – These aren’t your grandma’s board games. No, these games are the real deal my friend. There’s no lame “pass go and collect $200” shenanigans here. Each game has you travelling or building a pathway to reach victory (oh…Going Places, now I get it).

If you’re sick of regular “bored” games these are sure to get you going…places (joke, har har).

By the way, Settlers of Catan is AMAZING!

Video games The Xbox and the Wii will also be set up for those who are too foolish to play one of the amazing board games to your right-->.

Board Games

Board Games

DIY your holidays

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

Every year I tell myself, “I am going to make this and that for the holidays.” But before you know it, the day is here and I’m stuck with last minute shopping at the malls along with the many others scrambling through the near empty shelves. In the end, I have a cart full of boxed chocolates, random gift baskets that people will never put to use and party trays that cost more than buying them fresh.

All this unnecessary stress could have been avoided if only I took the time to plan my holidays. Instead of buying my gifts, I planned on doing a little DIY this year. For those of you who are unfamiliar with DIY, it stands for Do it Yourself. I find that handmade things just add that extra sparkle to your gifts/event.

Edible DIYDIY: CocktailsDIY: Mason JarsDIY Chalkboard

There are many resources at your local library that can help you plan a smooth holiday. Whether it’s from making your own gifts, to cooking, to fashion, a little DIY can make it that much better.

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Forest Lawn Library Celebrates 40th Birthday

Forest Lawn Library Celebrates 40th Birthday

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

The Forest Lawn Library knows how to throw a birthday party! Our 40th birthday party on Oct. 19th drew of crowd of almost 600 residents eager to celebrate the special day with us.

Cake

We had all sorts of activities such as a life size photo booth, haunted house, face painting, henna art, balloonist and a historical photo display.

We want to say a big thanks to the Teens from our Teen Afterschool Program who created such a popular haunted house which got featured on Global TV and the Calgary Sun! Good Job!

Group Pic

Customers Pic

henna art

If you missed all our excitement you can read up on it in the Calgary Sun by clicking on the article down below!

Calgary Sun

Wayne Cao (Calgary Fort MLA) and Andre Chabot (Ward 10 Councilor) was our honored guest for the day and they too got to experience a little bit of everything. Even the former branch manager Betty Rhynes stopped by to celebrate the good 'ol times.

Honoured Guests

Certificate

Wayne Cao presented the Library with a certificate from the Legislative Assembly of Alberta

Face paint

photobooth
Teen Afterschool for November 4-7

Teen Afterschool for November 4-7

by Cindy - 0 Comment(s)

Hi guys,

Here’s what’s happening for the week of November 4th to November 7th. Stop by Monday to Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:30pm.

Teen Afterschool

**Special Info**

Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments changing to Mondays – Hi guys, starting next week, bike club will be switching to Tuesdays. That means that Yu-Gi-Oh will be switching to Mondays. The first Monday tournament will be on Monday, November 18th.

Monday November 4th – Author Reading - Cecil Castellucci and FREE PIZZA!

BookcoverRose sees red

Alright, listen up guys as today will be a pretty cool event. Award winning author (and director and musician) Cecil Castellucci will be coming to teen afterschool to tell you a bit about herself and her work. She’s written a ton of novels and graphix for teens and is sure to have some exciting things to say. As a bonus, anyone who attends will score some free pizza!

Wednesday November 6th – Gaming

Wednesday bike club is finished so we’re opening the basement up for other stuff. This week we’ll be having gaming. I know that Fifa has been crazy popular lately but we do have Halo 4, WWE 14, and a slew of Wii games as well. Computers will also be available.

Tuesday November 5th – Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament and LEGO Power

Yu-Gi-OhTest your skills and your deck in a single elimination challenge. Winners get prizes including booster packs.

Don’t have a deck? Don’t worry about it, we have 3 loaners you can sign out. Don’t know how to play? Someone can teach you.

Note: An automatic win to anyone who dresses like the guy (or possibly girl…) above!

YuGi-Oh

LEGO Power What’s better than LEGO building blocks? How about LEGO Powers! Like…super powers! You could control Lego with your mind! Or have the speed and strength of 10 LEGO men! Or…be yellow! Wait a minute, come to think of it, LEGO powers sound pretty lame.

How about regular ol’ LEGO Power then (not powers). This involves gears, wheels, batteries and other mechanisms which you can use to create some pretty nifty machines. Yeah…much better than the Power of being yellow.

Note: We don’t actually have Star Wars Lego. I just though an out of work Lego Storm Trooper was funny.

Games

Thursday November 7th Food Challenge at Bob Bahan Pool

Yeah, we know the library is cool. But so is the pool. They’ve got leather couches there for Pete’s sake! “For Pete’s sake” is kind of a funny saying isn’t it? Who is this Pete anyways? Why do we do or say things for his sake? Was he some guy that was particularly unlucky? Is that why things like leather couches happen for his sake? Like, he needs good things to make his terrible life better. Perhaps Pete is a dog. I sort of have a feeling he could be. Not that dogs would need leather couches or anything. All Pete the Dog would need is a good meal and a friendly pat on the head. And another thing I’ve never understood…whoops, I just realized this is a lengthy and somewhat moronic tangent. Sorry, let’s get back to the email.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, leather couches! And Free Food too! You can’t beat that so head over to the Pool House for 4:00 or meet at the library at 3:45 to head over with us.

Art Contest Winner

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Art Contest

Here is the winner from our 1-Hour Art Contest from a couple weeks again. In just 6 days we had close to 300 votes. This piece from Kathy titled “Tiffany the Ultimate Tiger of Amazing Excellence” came out on top though and won her a $25 cineplex gift card. Congrats Kathy!

Note: The piece is definitely not called “Tiffany the Ultimate Tiger of Ultimate Excellence”. Trevor just made that up.

Unique Cultural Experience

Unique Cultural Experience

by Cindy - 1 Comment(s)

It seems like October is the month to party it up!

In a week or so, we will host our 6th annual "A Taste of Cultures" part of the Refugee Experience Series.

This is one of my favorite events of the year. The library will be transformed to a place full of cultural displays, ethnic refreshments, art and traditional performances. You will start wondering once you step foot through our doors.. "Is this even a library?"

So mark the date on your calendars, you don't want to miss it!

Saturday, October 26

11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Forest Lawn Library

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