January 19th, 2019

Andover Public Library is hosting the 1st Annual Snow Sculpture Competition to allow community members to put their creativity to the test as they compete to build the ultimate snow sculpture. All ages are invited to participate. Groups with participants 13 and younger must have at least one adult aged 18 or older in the group. Maximum of 6 people per group. Sculptures should represent the “Inspiration at the Library” theme.
The sculptures can be anything from snowmen to forts, or even ice sculptures, as long as they do not portray obscene images. Remember this is a family friendly event. Contestants will have three hours to build their sculpture. The sculptures will be judged at 1 PM the same day. In the event that we do not have snow (or enough snow) to hold the competition, the Andover Public Library will provide indoor/outdoor “snow” activities.

1. Each team can have a maximum of 6 participants. This is an all-ages event, but teams with participants
under the age of 13, must have at least one adult (18 or older) in their group.
2. A completed entry form must be submitted to the Andover Public Library by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.
3. The entry form will state what you are building.
4. Each sculpture must have at least one team member present at their statue at the time of judging.
5. Teams can use anything to create their sculpture. The Andover Public Library will not be providing anything. The sculptures can be any height, width, or length as long as there is no vandalism of property. Sculptures may only be built on the garden lawn area. No sculptures permitted in the parking lot or on sidewalks. The Andover Public Library has the right to disqualify any sculpture that portrays obscene images and is at the discretion of the Andover Public Library director and/or staff.
6. People cannot be a part of the sculpture, but props and any other material can be used to add to the sculpture. The sculpture should be mainly built out of snow. Failure to comply with this rule may result in disqualification.
7. The building can begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 19. Building and construction can occur anytime before 1 p.m. that same day.
8. Sculptures will be judged on the following criteria: creativity, effort, correlation to the “Inspiration at the Library” theme, and detail/appearance. All judges’ decisions are final.
9. Winning team members will receive a special award and prize.
Snow Sculpture Competition Judging Criteria:
Sculptures will be judged based on creativity, appearance, and use of a theme. Profane or obscene sculptures are not permitted and will be disqualified and destroyed.

Sam Rardin, son of Robert Service High School teacher Joel Rardin, shapes the the eye of a cougar made in snow during the snow sculpting competition in Anchorage, Alaska, Feb. 25, 2012. The snow sculpting contest is part of Fur Rendezvous, celebrating 77 years of this festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf)

Creativity (0 –10 points)
• Does the final product convey an original idea?
• Does the final product utilize materials effectively/creatively?
Use of Theme (0 – 10 points)
• Does the group incorporate the “Inspiration at the Library” theme in a way that makes sense?
Detail/Appearance (0 -10 points)
• Is the final product neat?
• Does the final product include details that help make it more appealing?
Effort (0 – 10 points)
• Does there appear to be a considerate amount of time put into building the sculpture?
• How complex is the sculpture?

Baked Texas French Toast


  • 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 entire loaf (1 lb, 12 oz) Texas Toast (Not frozen. Don’t use other breads.)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 2 TB light brown sugar, mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • Real maple syrup for serving, if desired



  1. Put butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Add 1 cup brown sugar and stir until well incorporated Pour into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan, spreading mixture evenly.
  2. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla until incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Lay a single layer of Texas Toast in the pan, cutting pieces to fit if needed. Spoon 1 cup of egg mixture evenly over bread. Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Repeat with the second layer, using up the rest of egg mixture over that layer, and ending with a sprinkling of brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Try to get the custard evenly soaked into the bread slices.
  4. Cover tightly and chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes on the lower middle rack — covered for the first 30 minutes, and uncovered after that. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Be sure to scrape up all the bottom sticky goodness. If desired, serve with pure maple syrup.

First Friday – Home for the Holidays- Ashtabula

ONE DAY only, Dec 7th you will enjoy UNPRECEDENTED HOLIDAY SALES AND FREE GIVEAWAYS at MOST downtown businesses! Whatever you are looking for, Educational Toys, Books, Home Furnishings, Carpeting, Art, Photography, Specialty Picture Framing, Unique Tattoos, Beauty Products, Natural/Organic Products, Health & Beauty, Fitness, One-of-a-Kind Music and Books, Unique Clothing, Stocking Stuffers, Food, Wine, and more!

Enjoy FREE holiday refreshments every store you visit.

Visit and take selfies with Santa Claus (kids of all ages 4-8 ). Take pictures with Mrs. Claus, FREE Christmas Crafts for Kids, Christmas movies, Free Live entertainment!

Stroll Main Ave. to see the magical window displays!

Located on Main Ave Ashtabula, OH

Dec. 7, 2018

10-8 PM


Visit Cornelius Park and Vote for your favourite decorated Christmas tree.

Win a FREE Live 8ft Christmas Tree! (Courtesy of Manners Christmas Tree Farm).
EVERY business you visit, you will receive a free raffle ticket and be entered to win a Live 8 ft Christmas Tree. Visit 10 businesses you receive 10 entries.  No purchase necessary to win, the winner will be announced at 8:00 pm at Framed on Main Gallery.


Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs


  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar and garlic. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss.
  4. Lay the chicken on the lined baking sheet skin side down. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges.


Recipe from


Lights on the Lake


Event Dates ​Friday, Saturday, Sunday — November 23 thru December 30   6:00pm – 9:00pm

——Special Days and Hours——

Dec. 24th, and 25th.   6:00pm – 8:00pm

Drive through a majestic holiday light display on Lake Shore Park’s 54 acres! Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.


Lake Shore Park

1700 East 1st Street, Ashtabula , OH 44004

Cost of admissions

$5 per vehicle

Buses – $1 per person

Mini Buses – $20


Santa Claus, Nov. 23rd, Nov. 30th, Dec. 7th, 14th, and 21st

Light’s on the Lake Walk Through, Nov. 29 6-8pm

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Nov 30th, Dec 1st, Dec. 7th, 8th,14th, 15th, 21st, and 22nd (Call the Crow’s Nest at 440-964-2696 to make arrangements)

Help Your Neighbor Night, Dec. 7th, 8th, and 9th

More infomation can be found here>>

Beef and Broccoli with Rice


  • 2 lbs | 1 kg beef tenderloin, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing (Chinese) wine**
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (corn flour)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (important. See Notes)*
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (optional BUT adds incredible flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoon ground white pepper (or 1-2 teaspoons red chili powder)
Stir Fry:
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 8 cloves (or 4 tablespoons) garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 4 green onion/scallion stems, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (corn flour)



  1. Whisk marinade ingredients together until well combined. Marinate the beef slices for 30 minutes to an hour (The more marinading, the more tender the meat will be).
  2. While beef is marinating, whisk together the sauce ingredients until well combined. Set aside and prepare vegetables.
  3. Heat up a wok over medium heat with the 1/4 cup of oil. When oil is hot, stir-fry the marinated beef in batches of four (don’t crowd the wok) until they are just crisp on the edges (about 2 minutes. They cook FAST in the hot oil. Don’t have the oil on high heat or it will spit and spatter all over you and your stove). Remove the meat, leaving as much oil in the wok, and set aside.
  4. Heat up the sesame oil in the wok with any remaining oil, and stir-fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the vegetables and stir-fry until they are vibrant in color and just tender.
  5. Add the beef back into the wok with the prepared sauce. Simmer in the sauce until the beef slices are cooked through (about 2 minutes); add the con starch mixture and the sliced green onions. Cook for a further minute or until the sauce thickens while stirring quickly.
  6. Garnish with extra green onion slices and serve immediately over rice or steamed vegetables.


Notes from…


*I used normal soy sauce in the beef marinade, BUT found low sodium soy sauce tasted A LOT better for the sauce. We found normal soy in the sauce was too salty.
**If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, use a Rice Wine Vinegar; White or Apple Cider Vinegar instead.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup pumpkin (canned)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (can sub with canola oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (add an extra 1/2 teaspoon if you like spice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Set aside.

  2. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and egg in a large bowl. Mix until smooth.

  3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir into the wet ingredients. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir until combined.

  4. Add chocolate chips and stir until combined.

  5. Drop cookies on by the spoonful about 2 inches apart. Add a few extra chocolate chips to the tops if desired. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Allow to cool on pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.


November Holidays are Coming!

With the holiday season right around the corner, I wanted to share a few holidays that you may have considered. 

Day of the Dead- October 31st- November 2nd-

I am going to say it. Have you seen COCO? This day is not the Halloween event in Mexico. It is a day where they honour their deceased family members. There will be events at your local restaurants and you can even search social media for other events. You can create your own ofrenda and put your family members pictures up if you wish.

Sandwich Day – November 3rd- 

Share your favourite sandwich recipes with friends, ask them for theirs or even go support a local sandwich shop.

Book Lovers Day – November 4th-

I am always a fan of a new book to curl up to. Ask your friends for suggestions or possible a book swap for Book Lovers Day!

Veteran’s Day – November 11 (November 10 Observed)

Today is the day that we honour our troops who are still alive and who served our country.  I will be posting an article about areas to go get your veterans days deals in a couple weeks!

World Kindness Day – November 13

This is one of my favourite holidays to share with people. Sometimes we forget that kindness day should be every day. This holiday is a reminder to be a little extra today. I will be buying a coffee for the person behind be today. Pass it forward.

World Diabetes Day – November 14

This is something that has affected our families personally. Here are a few ideas to promote diabetes directly from the World Diabetes Day association.

Support WDD online

  • Share the key WDD messages
  • Promote the WDD website –
  • Promote World Diabetes Day on social media – like, share and retweet
  • Promote the campaign on your website
  • Share WDD resources on your website or social media channels
  • Take a blue circle selfie and share it on social media channels
  • Submit your WDD photos

TOP TIP: Remember to use the hashtag #WDD2018 on all social media posts!

Clean Your Refrigerator Day – November 15

I am definitely taking advantage of this holiday! My fridge needs to be DEEP cleaned. If you like to share things on social media why not post a picture of your amazingly clean fridge once you’re done with a hashtag #cleanyourfridgeday18.  Happy refrigerator cleaning day!

Thanksgiving, November 23

This was probably one of the holidays you were thinking of when I mentioned the holidays are coming. This is a day we can all enjoy our food with family. One of our personal traditions is breakfast instead of dinner. What are some of your traditions? Share them with people and maybe you will learn about theirs too?

Black Friday, November 24

SHOPPING DEALS!!! This has become larger and larger over the years. I am sure there will be specials all over town start looking now!

Cyber MondayNovember 27

I personally do not like dealing with the crowds on Black Friday! Cyber Monday is right up my alley and I feel that I get the same if not better deals on certain things this day.



Ghost Kabobs


  • Marshmallows
  • Strawberries
  • Melon (cut into cubes)
  • Kabob Skewers
  • Food colouring marker


1. For the marshmallows, use a black food colouring marker to draw a ghostly face onto each marshmallow. (This is a great task for older kids to help with!)  Let the marshmallows dry for a few minutes before using.

2. Wash and cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces.  Add a strawberry, piece of melon and then a ghost marshmallow to the skewer.  Repeat the pattern until you are at the top.