Celebrate the Fruits of Summer With…Fruit!

I love all the fresh fruit that’s available this time of year.  Every trip to the grocery or farmer’s market is an olfactory and visual delight as summer fruits abound.  Why not take advantage of the color and variety and make your own fruit salad to have as a snack or for a refreshing dessert at the next barbeque.

For my fruit salad, I used peaches, kiwi, cherries, and blueberries.  You can add grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple or raspberries.  Think multi-colored and you’re sure to have a winning combination.  You can sprinkle unsweetened coconut on top or even some homemade granola if you want to add some crunch.   Don’t be afraid to try new combinations.   fruit saladIt’s all delicious!

Three Cheers for Ice Cream!

Did you know that in 1984, President Ronald Regan declared July National Ice Cream Month?  Americans have always loved ice cream, and each part of the US has its own favorite flavor.  Here are the top 5 selling flavors nationwide:

1. Mississippi – Chocolate     2.  New York - Vanilla       3.  Colorado – Mint Chocolate Chip

4.  Iowa – Pralines and Cream     5. Texas - OREO Cookies and Cream

To find YOUR state’s favorite, visit the ice cream map at:   http://www.parade.com/ice

Now, all that talk of ice cream has made me hungry.  I think I’m going to have a bowl of butterscotch almond.  With a sprinkling of coconut.  What’s your favorite flavor?

Here’s are instructions on how to make your own ice cream WITHOUT an ice cream maker:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/avocado-lime-ice-cream?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&    utm_campaign=zergnet_202737&cid=partner_zergnet          

Why not try some ice cream on home-made waffles?  Delicious!          waffle ice cream

Help Your Pet Keep Cool.

dogSummer heat can get to all of us.  July and August are often called the “dog days” of summer thanks to this heat and humidity.  Many of us have our own ways of keeping cool, but what about dogs?  They depend on us to take care of them no matter what the temperature is.  Here are some tried and true ideas for helping your dog keep cool.

1. Chill them down with a kiddie pool or sprinkler.  You can also use a cooling pad for indoors or in a car.  And DON”T ever leave your beloved pet in a hot car while you run errands.  How would you like being stuck in there?

2. Inside out Cool. Most canines love ice cream, but if the regular stuff upsets your dog’s stomach, try Purina Frosty Paws.  It’s available at most supermarkets.

3. Stay in the Shade. When walking your dog, try to keep to tree-lined streets or parks for long distances.

4.  Don’t Trim Their Fur. Contrary to appearances, thick fur actually keeps dogs cool during warm weather.

What tricks do you use to keep your favorite pet cool?

50 Summer Crafts

If your children are bored or you just want to get them away from video games for awhile, try some of the summer craft projects at:  http://www.thelongthread.com    

You can learn to tie dye T-shirts, make a seashell garden, make your own kites, sun prints, and much more.  There are crafts for all ages and easy step-by-step directions.

Another site with dozen’s of kid-friendly craft projects is: http://www.redtedart.com

Get crafty this summer!

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with you hair.” – Kahlil Gibran

Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans

darlenebeckjacobson:

A wonderful [post on a great author of yesteryear…

Originally posted on Robin Newman Books:

There are some books that are etched in my memories of childhood—Babar, Where the Wild Things Are, Pierre, and last but certainly not least, Madeline.

I remember when my twin sister and I were about six-years old running down the streets of Paris on our way to school, chanting, “Boohoo, we want to have our appendix out, too!”[1]

And so, my heart skipped a beat when I heard that the New York Historical Society Museum & Library was commemorating the 75th anniversary of Madeline’s publication, with an exhibit entitled, “Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans.”

Madeline - NYHS

The exhibit follows the life of Ludwig Bemelmans, most notably from his arrival in New York through Ellis Island in 1914. He became a busboy at the Ritz Hotel on Madison Avenue and 46th Street in 1915.[2] He then served in the army…

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Calling All Teen Writers.

My friend and fellow blogger Kathy Temean ( http://www.kathytemean.wordpress.com) posted this information about a west coast workshop event for teens seriously interested in learning the craft of writing for children:

TeenSpeak Novel Workshop
Convenes October 17-19, 2014 in coastal Santa Cruz, CA.

TeenSpeak offers a rare opportunity for international teens to interact with top level East Coast editors and agents, and adults who write for the teen/tween market. Open to 10 teens in an intimate setting, the event dovetails with 20 supportive adults in a concurrent, partly overlapping workshop.

FACULTY: Core teen instructor is Helen Pyne, MFA (Vermont College of Fine Arts), a former Doubleday children’s/YA book editor. Along with adult enrollees, teens enjoy novel crafting sessions with Knopf Associate Publishing Director Melanie Cecka (also an award-winning children’s book author) and agent Scott Treimel (former children’s book editor), president of Scott Treimel New York.

CONTENT: TeenSpeak workshop focuses on craft through dramatic improv and other vehicles. Teens receive in-person, mini critiques with editor and agent—and full critiques from their own instructor, and volunteer adult enrollees.

In reciprocity, teens offer adults target-reader feedback. After teens edit selected adults’ partial and full novels, they hear our editor and agent critique the same manuscripts. Lively discussion follows, for the benefit of all: “I loved the teens’ insights at this workshop,” says Erin Clarke, executive editor at Knopf Children’s Books. Well before the event, teens are offered tools to sharpen their critiquing skills, and may be paid for a job well done.

FEE: $549 covers up to three nights’ beachfront condo lodging with chaperone, kid-friendly meals, all critiques, and focus sessions.

TeenSpeak Scholarship Fund: This year’s donations will honor renowned children’s author, Elaine Marie Alphin. Teens (and adults) will apply exercises in her book, Creating Characters Kids Will Love. To contribute any amount to support a young person passionate about writing, contact us via the website, where you’ll find mixed testimonials from scholarship beneficiaries and other enthusiastic teens. (Alternately, ask about possible jobs for teens or parents, or split payments.) Teens appreciate your generous donation!

ENROLLING: Recommended enrollment date for maximum options: July 20. Details and contact: http://www.ChildrensWritersWorkshop.com(click FOR TEENS). TeenSpeak is an outgrowth of the Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop, established 2003. Don’t delay; we fill fast!

 

Book Give-a-Way & Interview With Shannon Wiersbitzky: What Flowers Remember

darlenebeckjacobson:

Another book I’ve added to my “TO BE READ” list.

Originally posted on Writing and Illustrating:

Shannon_Wiersbitzky_Author_Photo_2012Shannon Wiersbitzky is a middle-grade author, a hopeless optimist, and a lover of the outdoors. The Summer of Hammers and Angels, nominated for the William Allen White award, was her first novel.

Born in North Dakota, Shannon has called West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Michigan “home” at some point in her life.She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, one rather dull fish and her always entertaining dog Benson.

I interviewed Shannon about her new book WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER, and asked her if she would do a give-a-way of the book for anyone who leaves a comment. If you tweet or post something about the book on facebook or your blog, you will receive an extra entry to increase your chances to win.

Book Notes: What Flowers Remember

shannonflowersMost folks probably think gardens only get tended when they’re blooming. But most folks would be wrong. According to…

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