The Musings, Notes & Book/App reviews of a Children's Writer

Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Appy Holiday Gifts For New iPad Owners!

The holiday season is in full swing and parents everywhere are looking for holiday gifts and quality entertainment for children eager for a warm fireside activity.

The Book App Alliance publishes book app reading lists for parents looking for just this kind of treat, and our December Holiday edition is here to please.

Our list this month features a list of book apps that can be downloaded to a new iPad as a gift, or introduced for engaging new reading on a cold and blustery day.

This holiday list of endearing stories is sure to inspire new friendships, affirm old ones, and warm the cockles of your heart as the starlight sparkles through the cold crisp air of wintertime.

Click on the link below for the Book App Alliance December Holiday Reading List:

via Appy Holiday Gifts For New iPad Owners!.

App Gifting Tip for Parents: If you are introducing an iPad to your family over the holiday, sneak the iPad out of its wrapping and pre-load these books so that your children can immediately enjoy the fun when the wrapping comes off; you’ll make a bigger impact if they can engage in exciting content right away instead of waiting until later for downloads.


A Family-Friendly Reading List For The Season Of Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving, and that means curling up by the fire with family and warding off a bustling wind with heartwarming stories!

book-app-alliance-november-reading-list1Whether you are entertaining the kids while preparing a Thanksgiving feast, searching for unique food-themed stories, or getting ready for an afternoon nap after a thankful meal, this month’s Book App Alliance reading list offers a cornucopia of terrific storiesand entertaining activities you will be grateful for.

As winter approaches and outside time is limited, present your children with educational options that entertain with family-friendly stories from leading independent authors.

The Book App Alliance presents the November Thanksgiving Reading ListA Family-Friendly Reading List For The Season Of Thanksgiving.

Christmas Book Review – How Santa lost his Job

Merry Christmas from Blue Sandpiper Imprints, home of Grendel’s Great Escape Children’s App. I added a 2nd book this month, it is Christmas after all & there are so many good Christmas books out there, I just couldn’t resist. Plus it will give the kids something to read, Consider it my gift to you.

How Santa lost his Job by Stephen Krensky  illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Santa lost his job

How Santa lost his job
Book Review by M.Anaya
Blue Sandpiper Imprints

This follow-up to ‘How Santa got his job’ is just as entertaining and interesting. In this economy with it’s ups & downs this is a very relevant story, about how Santa was slow to change with the times so the Elves found a way to modernise & maximize production. They build a fantastic machine ‘The deliverator’ that meets all their delivery needs but soon discovers that it lacks the personal touch and know how that only Santa can supply. Yes, it has a happy ending, and is written in a fun and upbeat way that kids will love. With so many children in families facing layoffs and the lifestyle changes it brings, this is a great read for not only Christmas but for anytime of the year.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas


Did Christmas swoop in earlier this year? Although 2012 was filled with it’s share of challenges, it seemed to have sped by rather quickly. Christmas is the favorite holiday for many (including me). Unlike other holidays, it’s not just a day, it’s an entire season filled with good cheer, fun, festivities & some snow if you’re lucky. I’ve researched all the professional light displays in town, Christmas tree lighting & even found a seasonal outdoor ice skating rink. It’s uplifting to drive thru the neighborhoods and see the twinkling light wrapped trees & icicle lights draped along the roofs. Then there’s the shopping, Christmas parties & shows – The non stop fun continues right until New Years day. If you’re entertaining this year or have surprise visitors pop by, here’s a quick easy punch to serve up.

Kid friendly Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

2 oranges, thinly sliced crosswise

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds or raspberries

1 (2)liter bottle of sprite or ginger ale (substitute for white wine or champagne)

two bottles sparkling grape juice

3 tablespoons sugar

1 cup diced fresh pineapple (1/2 inch)

1 cup pomegranate juice


Kid friendly holiday punch – add in Champagne or Sparkling White Wine for cocktails

In a punch bowl, dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice. Add the sparkling white grape juice & sprite or ginger ale, then add the orange slices, diced pineapple and pomegranate seeds or raspberries. Serve the sparkling pomegranate punch over ice cubes.

Memorial Day musings

Memorial Day first started after the Civil War to honor fallen Union soldiers. These days, It’s becoming less about remembrance and more about the start of the summer season. This weekend will be mostly about sales, picnics, sports, concerts, pool parties and family. This is wonderful, but we enjoy these freedoms because of our veterans and the price they paid.  As citizens and residents of a country which has seen many wars and is currently still at war, let’s take a moment out of our family festivities to say a prayer and thank our veterans and soldiers (the 1 percent) serving their country, far away from their family and home. Remember that freedom isn’t free.

A few of the events around the country:





Mothers Day Treats…..Everyday.

Mothers day has come and gone, but a mom’s work is never done.  Busy moms always deserve a guilt free treat. Facials or Massages are super relaxing and a great way to unwind.  Cupcakes however the perfect antidote for just about everything.  The cupcake culture is thriving and I’ll single hand-idly keep it going, if necessary.

These are some of the best cupcakes in the US that I’ve found so far…The hunt continues.
Feel free to clue me in, on the little bites of heaven in your part of the country.
Hands down, the best cupcakes and best decorated cakes anywhere!
Now if I could only convince them to ship or open shops in other states besides
N.Y….Don’t deprive the rest of the country!

The most artfully decorated cupcakes plus they offer decorating classes.
Las Vegas/ DallasThe cupcakery
Would live here if I could. Since moving to Texas, it’s become my ‘go to’ place, after a stressful day at work, or as a reward after a brisk work out.
Florida/ West Palm Beach 
Made from scratch with real ingredients, unique designs and custom cakes
a real treat!




Whole foods makes Delightful mini Cheesecake cupcakes, topped with fresh fruits.

I can’t drive by without getting one,or two.



Those of you who prefer to bake your treats, check out

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