A grandparenting guide for today's grandparents (Brief Book Review)

Unconditional Love Jane Isay Brief book review.jpg

I recently noticed a new "guide to grandparenting" book making the review rounds on several of my favorite grandma blogger sites. Soon after perusing their thoughts, I was offered the opportunity to check out the book myself.

The book, Unconditional Love by Jane Isay, features the intriguing subtitle, "A guide to navigating the joys and challenges of being a grandparent today."

Upon reading Isay's thoughts and interviews with numerous grandmothers, it seems Unconditional Love can be wholly…

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Wherein I review 'I've Been Thinking... Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life'


I've long been a fan of—and subscriber to—Maria Shriver's The Sunday Paper. In her weekly e-newsletter, Shriver shares empowering, encouraging, inspirational thoughts and information on people making a positive difference in our culture, our world.

Shriver opens each newsletter with an engaging personal message  titled "I've been thinking...," on a range of topics relevant to world events and concerns. She follows up with powerful articles and tidbits by and about various "Architects of Change," as she calls the passionate "changemakers moving humanity forward." 

The Sunday Paper never fails to open my eyes and heart to the positive possibilities in our world today despite the doom, gloom, negativity, and nastiness proliferating online and off.

So when I was offered the opportunity to review I've Been Thinking... Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life, Shriver's most recent book, inspired by the messages she writes and shares in The Sunday Paper, I naturally responded, "Heck, yeah!"

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11 last-minute gift ideas for grandmothers and others to give and get

Time's ticking and if you still have a few stockings to fill or a few gifts to give, here are some simple gift ideas to consider. I tested out each — free for review — and give an honest thumbs-up to all.

A few are ideal for grandmas to give, a few more ideal for grandmas to get. Bonus: All can be ordered online, so no need to be out and about in the snow. (Note: There are NO affiliate links in this post.)

RING IT GAME ($14.99, BlueOrangeGames.com)

ring it game

Oh my goodness! My four-year-old grandson loves this game, even though it's designed for...

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'The Grandparent Economy:' Q&A with author Lori K. Bitter

Most of us reading (or writing) Grandma's Briefs are grandparents. Which means most of us here know how much money grandparents spend on their grandchildren, their parents, their children and, when there's a smidgen left, on ourselves.

Interestingly, marketers don't seem to know how much we grandparents spend on ourselves and our loved ones. Or so it seems. Perhaps they do know—some brands clearly do—though they have yet to figure out how to effectively reach us with messages on the services and products we want to see, want to use, want to buy.

grandparent economy bookAuthor Lori K. Bitter lends them a hand in her new book on the topic, The Grandparent Economy: How Baby Boomers Are Bridging the Generation Gap ($34.95, Paramount Market Publishing), which I recently received free for review.

The 138-page primer on engaging the 65 million grandparents in the United States is a must-read for marketers. And, thanks to all the graphs and stats and tidbits Bitter provides on...

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'The 50 States': 50 surprising facts from an engaging, trivia-stuffed, oversized tome

I've never been good at geography, not even United States geography. Those states beginning with vowels located in the center of the country trip me up every time.

I think part of my problem with geography not sticking in my brain is because it was never presented to me in a fun, memorable manner. A book I recently received free for review, though, is fun, is memorable, and is all about the 50 states—even those midwest ones that begin with I's and O's and are situated beneath and between two that begin with M.

The book is aptly titled The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!, written and researched by Gabrielle Balkan and lavishly—and whimsically—illustrated by Sol Linero. This is the kind of book that encourages kids to learn and remember maps and more, the kind of book that makes a perfect family gift (and school report resource).

the 50 states 

In addition to colorful, informative front and back inside covers...

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Kids and cameras: 9 tips for beginner photogs, from National Geographic Kids

kids and cameras

As long as my grandsons have known me, I've had a camera in my hand more often than not. I may not be a pro, but taking photos is one of my favorite activities.

I like to think it's my penchant for taking pictures that encouraged my grandsons to enjoy using various cameras—from their kid camera to smartphones to my DSLR—for shooting shots around their place now and then. 

I'm pretty good about explaining to my grandsons the basics of using a camera, but as a true and untrained amateur photographer myself, I'm not the greatest at sharing with them sure-shot techniques for composition and more, in easy-to-understand snippets they'll understand and remember.

Enter National Geographic Kids book Guide To Photography by Nancy Honovich and National Geographic Photographer Annie Griffiths (which I...

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Thanksgiving picture books, plus GRAND Social No. 132 link party

Thanksgiving picture books

It's nearly Thanksgiving, and I have some suggestions for Thanksgiving picture books you and yours will happily devour in celebration of Turkey Day. These colorful offerings cover giving thanks and eating healthy, plus other Thanksgiving sorts of things including dodging the hall of aunts and the hall of butts. That's right, the hall of butts, a chuckle-worthy scene in The Great Thanksgiving Escape.

thanksgiving picture books from Candlewick

Find my brief reviews (and I do mean brief) of...

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