Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BOOK REVIEW - Let's Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay

Hola! Let's Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay 
Amazon Buy Now Link!
Interactive Link

¡HOLA! gives children 6-10 an early and fun start in learning Spanish. Parents can use it with their children, whether or not they know Spanish. Please go to the audio page at for your free download of the audio version. Follow the book along with the audio to learn the pronunciation. Kids take an imaginary trip to Mexico where they meet Panchito the Mexican Jumping Bean. They follow his adventures while being drawn into the culture and learning Spanish. Activities follow to practice Spanish. They include a treasure hunt and a skit. Culture Corner give more ideas for practicing Spanish while learning more about Mexico, including the song for breaking a piƱata. Children can follow directions for making a traditional Mexican Mask. Parents should go to Parents' page on website for more advice on how to use the book.

As my family and I travel to different places we are always excited to interact with others who speak a different language! The most common language around us besides English is Spanish. I have often wished that my children would be able to learn the Spanish language. I have wondered how I could do this when I myself only know a few Spanish words. I have the pleasure of sharing with you a fun, interactive, and educational way to introduce the Spanish language to your children. It's a children's book designed for children around the ages of 6-10. 

I enjoyed sharing this book with my 7 year old daughter. She is especially motivated to learn Spanish and we had fun reading together. What I loved is how many different ways this book helps you to learn the language. First you have a fun imaginary trip to Mexico with Pete the Pilot and then you get to meet Panchito the Mexican Jumping Bean who takes you on fun adventures. After the story you get a chance to practice some of the words you learned. There are many clever ways that this book introduces new Spanish words to it's readers and I loved this unique aspect of the book. You also get a cultural lesson which is very educational! Do your kids like art projects? There is a fun craft section in the book that helps you make a fun traditional Mexican mask! This book is full of wonderful ways to encourage your children (and yourself) to enjoy learning Spanish!

Don't worry if you don't know any Spanish, there is a website where you can download the audio version of the book! There are resources on the website that provides advice and articles on language learning for children! What a wonderful way for kids and parents to share in learning a new language. We highly recommend this book for you and your family! I give this book 5 STARS!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Treasure Hunting with Icky Chic Designs (3)

No matter if your traveling the world or your own back yard, if your looking in the right place there is always TREASURE to be found. Why not join me as I leave no stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed, no ocean uncrossed, well, I think you get my drift... Just have fun exploring the caches of wonderful loot I've discovered in my hunt for the world's most FABULOUS FINDS!

Dirk Savage never fails to acquire what he wants until he encounters Stormee Waters and a backwash of trouble

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Handbag Gift Set Giveaway by Icky Chic Designs

Handbag Gift Set Giveaway 
By Icky Chic Designs

Click on Photos To Enlarge
This small elegant Tote is perfect for any special occasion, such as a wedding, Summer party, or just date night. The Warm Ivory Cream color and sheer front pocket give it a classic and timeless allure. (The purse is not white but a warm creamy ivory)

Fully lined
Snap closure.
One inner pocket
Outer pocket across front

Bag measures:
Length: 8 inches
Width: 7 1/2 inches
Gusset: 1/1/2 inches

Strap length end-to-end: 14 inches

Eyeglass case and matching 
Mug Mat - Made with an assortment of fabrics, ribbon, and other embellishments with a quilted lining, it's both Boho-chic and durable.

Guidelines: You must be 18 years of age to enter and be a resident of the continental US. Our winner will be selected by random and notified by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Treasure Hunting With ICKY CHIC (2)

No matter if your traveling the world or your own back yard, if your looking in the right place there is always TREASURE to be found. Why not join me as I leave no stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed, no ocean uncrossed, well, I think you get my drift... Just have fun exploring the caches of wonderful loot I've discovered in my hunt for the world's most FABULOUS FINDS!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

For Aging Women: Move With The Rhythm of Your Heart!

Photo Credit
If you are fortunate enough to live many decades, bask in
the glory of each portal.
Yes! I'm going to hit that big 70 years-of-age mark in a few weeks. Did I just hear a sigh? Why are you looking sad? YOU DIDN'T just say how sorry you are for me, did you? 

Let's get a reality check. Bodies age, MINDS and HEARTS do not, at least, not in the conceptual sense. Sure, you're a lot more experienced, a lot more used, and a lot wiser, but from your inside perspective, aren't you still the young woman who was so eager to live her life to the fullest extent possible? Aren't your emotions still as fresh and beautiful as they were when you were a bouncy girl of nineteen?

Well then, don't falter, don't despair, just keep the pace! What do I mean by that? Give me a minute and I'll try to explain.

  • Move with the rhythm of your HEART: Don't let aging and the problematic issues that come with it mess with your rhythm. How long has it been since you meditated through the eyes of your heart? When's the last time you hummed along with the birds as they rejoiced in the morning light? When's the last time you sat in the dirt and giggled with a group of toddlers? When is the last time you danced to a favorite tune on the radio, or turned your car radio up loud and sang like a music diva? 
  • Travel, Explore, Learn, and Reach Higher Through the Power of Your MIND: Have you read a how-too book lately, started a new hobby, expanded your circle of friends, or volunteered in some type of community service? If not, why not? It's true, as we age we become slower and weaker, BUT, we're not dead yet. For every level of physical ability there is a variety of appropriate activities. YOU just need to get out of the lounge chair and find yours! 
If you give up on life, it will slip away from you at a much higher speed. Get inspired, better yet, BE INSPIRING! Every big '0', 50, 60, 70, 80, etc. is a wonderful portal to a new and awesome decade. Not everyone gets the privilege to experience them, DON'T WASTE YOURS!

How do you Move with the rhythm of your HEART? Leave us a comment...

Places and Spaces That Will Make You Drool...

No packing, No crowds, No hours on the road! Take a virtual trip to places and spaces that are guaranteed to make you drool. 

Dirk Savage never fails to acquire what he wants until he encounters Stormee Waters and a backwash of trouble

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Treasure Hunting With Icky Chic

No matter if your traveling the world or your own back yard, if your looking in the right place there is always TREASURE to be found. Why not join me as I leave no stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed, no ocean uncrossed, well, I think you get my drift... Just have fun exploring the caches of wonderful loot I've discovered in my hunt for the world's most FABULOUS FINDS!

Friday, May 27, 2016

WORLD BUILDING –Who Needs It? Can You Do It?

Photo Credit: I Nalna_94
As a writer, I learned early that creating a believable story required architectural and construction
skills. The second thing I realized was that I didn’t have a clue what World Building meant, how to begin, or when to stop. And most disturbing, was how my own writing style predicted dark days ahead. 

You see, I write by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I do some plotting, but mostly, the story just evolves one weird, funny, amazing, or awful idea at a time. Thankfully, these ideas do eventually merge into a story that previously only existed in my mind, a world with its own reality and principles of existence. 

So World Building is not something I consciously and meticulously predetermine, rather, I construct what I need when I need it. (*Smiles precociously) That’s not to say that a lot of building repair isn’t required in the editing process. (Woe is me!) After all, two things are definitely needed to make World Building concrete that is strong and durable—Coherence and Consistency, which miraculously appear during editing

As a reader, I don’t enjoy being bogged down by endless description. For instance, I don’t need to see the blueprints for a 33 room mansion. Just tell me it has 33 rooms including tennis courts, swimming pool, and riding stables and let me put it all together in my own mind. I guarantee, I’ll like my mansion better than the one you describe to me in full detail!

So what’s my point? In World Building, I try to construct only those features that are necessary in order to understand the rules or laws which govern my world, the environmental territory, time and space, new technology, and the characters that people my world along with their philosophy, language, etc. As a writer, I do the framework and allow you, the reader, to decorate so-to-speak. In reality, my world also becomes your world through participation.

Dare we try this out and see what happens...
I'll share a scene from my current work-in-progress and you tell me what details you filled in as a reader. At the conclusion, did your mind jump to the next action or dialog. What do you think happend next.  Don't be shy...GIVE IT A TRY!

She pulled into the parking lot of a new convenience store
and gas station. The place was crowded and she sighed in relief
at having gotten the last open space between a fancy black SUV
and a devil-black sports car of a kind she’d never seen before.

On her left, four men dressed in black suits exited the
SUV. They made her a little uneasy as their whole demeanor
resembled movie-style government agents, including the dark
sunglasses and military posture. Then again, the way they
scanned the building’s perimeter, maybe she wasn’t too far off
in her speculations.

Bam! The horrendous noise shattered Olivia’s musings. She
jerked her head to the right just in time to hear Miss Mable
snort disgustedly and push against her passenger door. Bam!
Somehow, with more dexterity than usual, her passenger had
snapped the catch on her seat belt and was attempting to exit the
van under her own steam.

“Miss Mable, wait for me,” Olivia grabbed the determined
woman’s arm, but to no purpose. Bam!

Olivia scrambled out of the van and ran around to the
passenger door seconds too late to keep it from smashing into
the side of the dangerous looking sports car for the fourth
time. Bam! She leaned her back against Miss Mabel’s door, using
her whole strength against another push.

Two men, dressed similarly to the ones from the SUV,
stepped out of the opposite side of the sports car and glared
daggers at her.

Another push from behind jostled her stance so bad she had
to press her hands against the driver’s window of the sports car
to keep from falling. She blinked as the four men from the SUV
joined the two from the sports car. She was surrounded on the
front and sides by a wall of men whose expressions were none to
friendly, and with a determined battering ram at her back.
Then, she heard the sound that drove her heart through her
throat—the person on the other side of the car’s window was
trying to open the door. She jerked her hands back, noticing
that her sweaty palms had left two very distinct prints on the
window’s once clean surface. With no option but to stay put, and
very little room between her and whatever was coming out of that
door, Olivia began to tremble. Her mind swirled as she searched
for an appropriate apology, one that would save her and her
passengers from a trip to the nearest police station—or worse.

He emerged like a butterfly escaping its cocoon. First an
arm, then a head of thick black hair that fell across his
forehead and bushed his collar. Olivia stopped breathing all
together as his broad shoulders, covered in yet another black
suit, were pushed skyward by a pair of legs that didn’t seem to
have an end. He pushed the door open as far as the minuscule
space permitted, allowing the edge to press against her body in
a vertical line starting between her breasts and continuing
across her belly button and pelvis. Pushing the back of her head
against the van’s glass window allowed her nose to escape being
mashed flat.

Well over six feet, he towered above her five-foot-three
inches. High cheek bones accentuated bronze skin the color of
her morning toast. Aquamarine-blue eyes shot a rapier glare
straight down his chiseled nose. He was so close she could smell
his cologne. Not a scent she recognized, but tantalizing and
exotic like the man who wore it.

With her breath caught in her throat, she waited. He hadn’t
spoken yet, probably because he couldn’t, not with his full
bottom lip twisted in cold fury.

“Damn it woman. Can’t you control your kids?”

So much for his speaking prowess. His voice, heavy with
undisguised insolence, raked down Olivia’s spine. Feeling like a
insect pinned for display, she pushed against the door, only to
have it pushed back. He wasn’t giving any quarter.

Although his English seemed to be perfect, it had been
laced with a hint of an accent. She stole a furtive glance
upward and regretted the decision. He wasn't the gentlemanly,
home-grown type of man she was used to. Could he be Latin,
Spanish, or South American? whatever, the man glaring at her
with brazen intensity was definitely a foreign specimen. Even
though the lighter color of his eyes softened his dark
expression, they reminded her of photos she'd seen of the cold,
blue-green icebergs that broke away from the glaciers of

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Meet the Dynamism behind LITTLE FEET BIG ADVENTURES

My Solo Adventure to a Costa Rica Jungle! Read about it on my blog...

My Guest today is Breeze Leonard. 
Breeze is the creative dynamism behind Little Feet Big Adventures, a trending new voice in the realm of family travel blogging. After reading Breeze's new blog, I'm convinced that she and her little traveling companions will open new windows of exploration, new goals for intrepid family travelers, and will provide a source of awesome and humorous travel experiences that will inspire us all. Be sure to bookmark her blog. Take my word for it, this blog will soon become the 'GO-TO' Guide for all those families with little feet who are ready, set, and just raring to go adventuring.

Now let's let Breeze introduce herself and then maybe she will be gracious enough to answer some questions for me.

Hi, my name is Breeze and I'm a family travel blogger. With a wonderful husband and three little vagabonds, I'm determined to bust the MYTH that you can't travel once you have kids. How am I going to accomplish that, BY DOING IT!

We are an ordinary family of 5 that travels on a budget. We are striving by our own real life experiences to encourage other families to go on adventures together. From our own backyard to overseas travel, we are making memories!

Breeze, what inspires you? Describe one real-life example.
Seeing my children's faces as they experience something for the first time. I'll never forget the first time my girls saw the ocean or their first airplane experience. I love watching their eyes light up! It seems like a small gift that I am able to give them each time they take in something new.

Do you have long-term professional goals that encompass your Travel Blog and your family?
Absolutely, I feel goals are extremely important! Our current goal is to road trip through all the
National Parks in the U.S. and share those experience with my blog readers. We love road trips and National Parks, so it just makes sense! And I have a few other adventures in the works that I'll be sharing in the weeks and months to come. Our adventure schedule is full, so I invite everyone to follow us, we'd love to have your company. Besides my blog, you can also keep track of us on TwitterFB, and Intagram

What kind of research or preparation do you do in advance?
I'm always researching new family friendly travel destinations. I try to stay up-to-date on the best theme parks, hotels, events, and much more that are geared towards the whole family. From experience I have learned that a little research can go a LONG way in making a trip go as smooth as possible. 

Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
The best advice I have to give for family travel is to get off the beaten path. What I mean by that is chose places that are not the most well known or popular. The times we have traveled to smaller locations that are perhaps not as common are the times we have enjoyed the most.

Do you travel for inspiration?
Yes! As much as possible. It's amazing how you can travel to somewhere that just gives you inspiration to write, photograph or create! We don't always have to travel far to achieve that inspiration. I've gone to local parks and had the "light bulb" come on so to speak. 

What sorts of things are inspiring you right now? Where do you look for inspiration?
Spring is inspiring me! The colors, the smells and just how refreshing it seems. The warmer weather is encouraging families to get outdoors together. I look to my kids for inspiration, if they are enjoying something then I get inspired by their happiness!

Can you describe your blog's target audience?
My target audience is anyone who loves travel. Yes, my primary focus is on traveling with kids but I have taken a few solo adventures that would appeal to anyone who travels. We do a lot of at-home activities that would interest anyone taking care of kids. We love including our grandmas and grandpas in our travel excursions as well!

Are you willing to do interviews, collaborative projects, product or travel location reviews?
Of course! The more I learn about all things travel the better I'll be at passing that information on to my readers!

Thank you Lynda for sharing our love of travel with your readers here at Between The Pages. And if anyone has any questions, drop a comment here and I'll do my best to answer them. And be sure to come visit us at

Happy Travels,

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lemons and Llamas with Author Nell Castle

My guest today is Author Nell Castle. Nell brought a yummy recipe for Lemon Tarts and a challenging writing prompt that will test your animal lore. 

Be sure to visit Nell's website and get to know this author who rewrites her friend's love stories that haven't ended well, bringing them to life with a breath of new hope and possibilities. Isn't that intriguing? I love happy endings!

Lemon Lore

What fruit is as versatile as the lemon? While its tart-sweet flavor makes it perfect for drinks and desserts, the lemon has tons of household purposes. Add it to your wash to brighten your whites--or dip your toothbrush in its juice to brighten your teeth (but watch out for your enamel!). Add a tablespoon to a cup of whole milk and you’ve got instant buttermilk. Sprinkle it over your kids’ sliced apples to prevent browning. Or try my favorite cleaning cheat: slice up some lemons in a bowl of water and pop it into the microwave for a minute and a half. Wipes off easily and smells great!

Recipe: Lemon Tart
Photo Credit: Liz West

Tart shell:
1 ¼ c. + 2T. Flour
1T + 1t. Sugar
⅛ t. Salt
8 T. cold unsalted butter
1 lg. egg yolk, beaten with 1T milk
Reserve 1 egg white, lightly beaten

4 eggs
1 ½ c. sugar
½ c. orange juice
3 T plus 1 t lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
¼ c. heavy cream

In food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and pulse to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add egg yolk mixture, pulsing until the mixture starts banging around the bowl. Flatten into a disc, wrap, and chill for 1 hour.

Allow dough to warm up at room temperature for a bit, then roll out to fit into a 10 ½ inch tart pan. Trim dough and reserve. Freeze pan until firm.

Line the shell with foil and bake 20 minutes at 350. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and brush with the reserved egg white. Scraps can be used to patch any cracks from the baking process.

Assemble filling while the pastry bakes. Whisk ingredients together until smooth and transfer into a pourable container. On a cookie sheet, transfer pie shell to the oven. Slowly pour in filling as high as possible without overfilling.

Bake approximately 25 minutes, until filling is just barely set and still jiggly in the center. Check after 20 minutes and do not overbake.

Cool to room temperature before eating.

Llama Writing Prompt

Photo Credit: Pablo Trincado
One night in a dream, you wander through deep woods under a starless sky. Slivers of the full moon brighten the ground beneath your bare feet, leading you on a glittering path to the threshold of a tipi. Light glows through its leather walls, and smoke drifts up from an opening at the top. A long-haired shaman, his cheeks carved by age, eyes glowing like hot coals, holds back a flap and invites you inside. You take a seat on the dusty ground at the edge of the fire pit. Heat blisters your eyebrows as you stare into the blue heart of the fire. You know without being told what you’re looking for. You’ll find your spirit animal in this tent.

Gentle brown eyes blink at you from the fire, and ears twitch hesitantly from the top of its head. At first you mistake it for a deer, until its neck elongates. Its coat is thick, shaggy, soft. The llama steps around the coals and emerges from the pit, rolling its jaw slowly beneath its dark, velvety nose.

Your spirit animal is both a reflection of you and your spiritual guide. Write about the core traits of a llama as you understand them. Why might this animal choose you? What was your first reaction to seeing the llama emerge? Were you threatened? Disappointed? Pleased? What positive aspects of a llama do you see reflected in yourself? Do you share any negative qualities that might require work? What can you learn from the way the llama carries itself?

“Fun fact” about Nell: Nell will be visiting with a shaman in a sweat lodge in June and is feeling a little nervous about smoking tobacco from a peace pipe.