New Year, New You?

Last year I swore it would be a New Year, New Me type of attitude. Well at least when it came to my eating habits. I had informed everyone in my family and my fiancé that 2017 would be the year I would start watching what I ate and start to eat healthier and exercise. Well as we already know, changing a lifestyle of eating habits overnight is no walk on the park.

It’s been a whole year now and I have changed a couple of things in my eating habits. I eat less candy, no chocolate, and a little bit of chips but not too often. But, the most important thing is I’ve been getting ingredients that are low sodium or reduced fat. However, that still isn’t enough. I need to do more so I can feel more energetic and just overall start on a cleaner diet. Luckily, Fountaindale has many useful databases that can help.

I decided to try Gale Courses. I searched cooking and looked through the many results it gave me. I then looked at the start dates and selected one that I found worked with my work schedule and clicked, “enroll now.” I then, selected my course start date, clicked “continue”, and created a free Gale Courses account with my library card. After I registered to the course, I received an email with a confirmation number. The class I signed up for was, Luscious, Low-Fat, Lightning-Quick Meals to teach me how to eat better.

Start Course dates are:

  • January 17, 2018
  • February 14, 2018
  • March 14, 2018
  • April 11, 2018

Before starting a course, it gives you all the information you need. It provides the syllabus that contains all the information you need to know and what the next 6 weeks will be like. It also provides the requirements that will be needed in order to complete this course, which in this case is only an email and internet. I believe this is a fun class to take and to learn more about cooking. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to bring up the flavor and start eating healthier this New Year join me. Or sign up for another class. Better late than never, I say. Let the lessons begin!

food blog -DR



Universal Class – Bartending and Mixology 101



Here at the Fountaindale Public Library we have a vast selection of databases in which one can choose from.  These include ones that fall under specific categories of research as pertaining to such topics as Articles & Research, Arts & Entertainment, Auto & Home,  Business & Employment, Consumer Information & Finance, Education & Homework Help, Genealogy, and Government & Law…just to name a few.

Today I will be looking at those that fall under the category of Education& Homework Help.  These include Universal Class, Mango Languages,, and Gale Courses.  Specifically, I will be discussing Universal Class and my experience with it and using it.

Universal Class is an excellent resource for anyone looking to further their knowledge and education.  Universal Class offers a staggering 500 online continuing education courses with real instructors.  Some of the courses include such diverse subjects as: Computer Training, Personal Finance, GED Training, Business, Pet and Animal Care, Professional Development, Health Services Training, Music and Painting, and many others.






The course I took and will be discussing in this blog is Bartending and Mixology 101.     To start you need to register as a new user.  After you have created an account, you then can decide on one of the 31 subjects listed.  Once you have decided on what subject you would like to pursue, below each one is an estimate of how many online courses each subject details.  You can also choose to search through the Course Catalog in the Find Course search box.  I typed in the word “Bartending” and with that it came back with 1 match found.  It could also be found under the main subject area of Arts, Crafts & Hobbies and under the subheading of Cooking and Baking.  It shows that there are 7 Lessons, 11 Exams & Assignments, 3 Hours average time, and how many CEUs.  The 7 Lessons were broken down as Alcohol Awareness, Bar Essentials – Alcohol, Bar Essentials – Additional Requirements, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, and Heated Drinks, Types of Establishments, and Employment.  I joined the course and began.  Each lesson included text, photos, videos, as well as links to certain recommended/essential sites as well as glossary of terms.  Each part is divided into sections that need to be completely in order to proceed further through the course.  After going through the specific lesson each portion would go turn from a red color to becoming highlighted with a checkmark and turning green.  Finally each lesson would end with an exam that would be either multiple choice, essay, or sometimes a combination of the two.  After which, would be sent to the instructor to be graded.  Sometimes it would take a few days other times it would only take a few hours to get your grade back via email to see if you passed to move forward through to the next portion of class.  Eventually, I reached the conclusion of the course and when I received the final email that I had passed and completed the course, I was presented with a Certificate of Course Completion.


bartending pic


The whole class and experience was very rewarding.  I found it to be entertaining, informative, and even fun.  The materials were presented in a way that was very easy to understand.  I also found navigating through the course very easy and user-friendly.  I also liked how the instructor would back all the grades in a very timely manner.  I cannot recommend Universal Class highly enough.  Cheers!


-Brian S.

Yoga for everyone, even if you’re not a human pretzel!

Perhaps you’re completely new to yoga but have heard all about the benefits of the ancient practice (stress relief, good posture, and improvement of muscle tone to name a few), or perhaps, like me, you’ve enjoyed yoga for a while but have struggled a few times to make it a part of your daily routine. Third time’s the charm, right? Or tenth, that’s cool too. Wherever you are on the yogi spectrum, the library has a great collection of yoga DVDs to use in the comfort of your home. As with any exercise program, be sure to consult a physician before starting.
Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies is split into two workouts: beginner and intermediate. The twelve postures, or asanas, you learn in the beginner segment of the DVD are common poses that you will see in any other yoga DVD or class. I loved that the instructor provided modifications of various poses in case you’d like to challenge yourself or if you’d like a more basic version to meet your physical capabilities. Throughout the beginner practice, you will hear some sound effects whenever a warning, tip, myth buster, jargon alert, or remember icon appears. Honestly, I found these sound effects a bit off-putting, but they do provide some really important information that you will want to know as you transition into each pose.

In the intermediate workout, you will learn a sun salutation which includes postures that use breath and movement together. This portion does not have sound effects. It moves a bit faster than the beginner workout, but after you’ve learned your basics, the sun salutation will be fairly easy to follow. All in all, this is a great introduction to yoga for those trying it for the first time.
{Place Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies on hold here}

Rodney Yee and Mariel Hemingway lead you through four 15-minute segments in 15-Minute Results: Yoga that focus on specific areas of the body – upper body toning, lower body sculpting, abdominal strengthening, and total body conditioning. 15 minutes of yoga is perfect for those of us with busy lives so that we can hit the mat and be out the door in almost no time at all. These compact workouts are a bit more fast paced, much like the sun salutation in Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies, but are definitely not lacking in benefits you’d gain from a longer workout. As Rodney and Mariel will tell you, 15 minutes is better than none at all!

ImageAfter doing Kundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress with Maya Fiennes I felt incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated. Kundalini is different from Hatha yoga, the most common practice in the West — think downward facing dog, tree, and other postures that you’d learn in Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies or in 15-Minute Results: Yoga. With Kundalini yoga, you might not experience much in regards to toning and strengthening. Instead, expect a bit of chanting and a lot of breathing techniques accompanied by Maya’s own ethereal music. I’ll admit, there are some movements that may seem weird at first, but but the results are so worth it. Maya explains what each movement is doing to cleanse and detox your body. I loved this DVD so much that I went out and got my own copy!

Be sure to check out these yoga DVDs and many others at the library!
– a –

Pumpkin Preparedness

During this time of the year right before October I try to  start thinking about what I am going to do for the pumpkin carving season.  I’ll just highlight on a few short topics of  what it takes to be prepared.

There’s really only four basic tools you need for carving pumpkins. These include:
-Long, thin, preferably serrated knife for large cuts (drywall saw or boning knife works best)
–Small, thin, preferably serrated knife for small detailed cuts (paring knife or carving kit knife works best)
–Sharp object to transfer your pattern onto your pumpkin (tack, nail, toothpick, etc.)
–Big metal spoon to scrape out the guts of the pumpkin
–Option of using a Dremel tool for more elaborate patterns or for carving the fake pumpkins

I usually find patterns online through out the year and print them out. Some websites I use for patterns include:
–Website with a vast array of pumpkin carving patterns; you do have to sign up and pay a small fee
–Website with a vast array of pumpkin carving patterns; you do have to sign up and pay a small fee
–Website with a vast array of pumpkin carving patterns; some free selections, you do have to sign up and pay a small fee if you want more
–Large selection of free pumpkin patterns
-Most local stores carry pumpkin patterns around October
-The library also will have a selection of free patterns

As we get closer to October, I will post more pumpkin carving tips and tricks.


Let’s talk about Pinterest

In September, I found my way to the site and instantly loved it. A month later, as Mashable published, there was a huge spike and everyone I knew and you knew was on it. Now your favorite brands and companies, libraries, and just about everyone is pinning. Mashable even wrote this handy article about the Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest.

Aside from the obvious eye candy from travel photos to what you’d love your dream house to look like, what’s your favorite thing about the site? What I really want to know is have you made any of the recipes or done any of the crafts you’ve pinned?

Nice Knits!

With the holidays behind us and summer in the far off distance, it’s a time for being cozy inside. Sure we love reading, watching our tv shows and movie nights in, but how about making something to beat the winter boredom? Why not try your hand at knitting? Here is a wonderful selection of knitting books for beginners and pros alike:

★ Boutique ★

The Joy of Sox: 30+ must-knit designs by Linda Kopp

Hip Knit Hats: 40 Fabulous Designs by Cathy Carron

French Girl Knits: Innovative Techniques, Romantic Details, and Feminine Designs by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes

Glam Knits: 25 Designs For Luxe Yarns by Stefanie Jape

Boutique Knits: 20+ Must-Have Accessories by Laura Irwin

★ Punk ★

Knockdown Knits: 30 Projects from the Roller Derby Track by Toni Carr

DomiKNITrix: Whip Your Knitting Into Shape by Jennifer Stafford

AntiCraft: Knitting, Beading and Stitching for the Slightly Sinister by Renee Rigdon

Pretty in Punk: 25 Punk, Rock, and Goth Knitting Projects by Alyce Benevide

★ Fantasy ★

Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn by Genevieve Miller

Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel

Fairy Tale Knits: 32 Projects to Knit Happily Ever After by A. Stewart-Guinee

★ Portable ★

Pints and Purls: Portable Projects for the Social Knitter by Karida Collins

Take-Along Knitting: 20+ Easy Portable Projects from Your Favorite Authors by Editors of North Light Books

★ Internet Favorites ★

Brave New Knits: 26 Projects and Personalities from the Knitting Blogosphere by Julie Turjoman

★ Babies ★

Natural Nursery Knits: Twenty Handknit Projects for the New Baby by Erika Knight

Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger

Itty-Bitty Nursery by Susan B. Anderson

Itty-Bitty Hats: cute and cuddly caps to knit for babies and toddlers by Susan B. Anderson

★ Gift Ideas ★

KnitWit: 20 Projects for Beginners and Seasoned Knitters by Katie Boyette

Big Book of Knitted Monsters, The: Mischievous, Lovable Toys by Rebecca Danger

Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi by Anna Hrachovec

Amigurumi Knits: Patterns for 20 Cute Mini Knits by Hansi Singh

Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet by Mags Kandis

Itty-Bitty Toys: How to Knit Animals, Dolls, and Other Playthings for Kids by Susan B. Anderson

You’re going to knock your friend’s socks off when you tell them you made it yourself instead of bought it on beloved etsy! Happy Knitting!


Would you like to teach a knitting & crochet class? We are looking for kind, patient instructors for a class this fall.  Please contact Debra Dudek at for more information .

– Sabrina