Straws – Where do you stand?

Last week I was out to dinner with three other people. Drinks were served and straws were not offered. Two of my fellow diners requested straws. For the sake of conversation, I said, “you know that straws are so 2017, right?”

In the interest of not selling anyone out, my fellow diners will remain nameless. Let’s just say, they were close enough that I felt my comment would be taken in the light-hearted vein it was intended. I’m all for respecting many sides of an argument.

My statement was met with, “I know, but I prefer a straw for hygienic reasons.” I legitimately appreciated that. I have also thought about how many lips come across restaurant glassware. I’ve further wondered how well those glasses are cleaned. Yuck, I hate overthinking stuff like this!

Just My Opinion

My opinion on straws is this – I can do without them. Not necessarily for environmental reasons, rather, they are simply not a necessity. If the cleanliness of a restaurant glass is a concern, I can always take my napkin and give the rim a good wipe down before my first sip.

Honestly, I’m not sure if the hype about plastic straws and their detriment to the world’s oceanic well-being is a bit overstated. God knows, it’s hardly a new story if it’s not delivered in an annoyingly overdramatic, life-threatening way. But, as for straws I don’t mind skipping them if, in some small way, it might help. California has now officially banned plastic straws from being served at restaurants. Patrons must ask for one and only then shall they receive. I can only imagine the judgement thrown out to anyone daring to ask would be enough to make anyone think twice.

Even though I like the smooth and steady feeling of drinking from a straw, I have also come to avoid them because I once read the pursing of lips when sipping on a straw can contribute to those unsightly vertical lines around your mouth. I already feel old enough, if I can avoid something that adds to an aged look I, by golly, will take the pass.

I know that giving up straws alone won’t solve the world’s pollution problems, but I’m happy to take this step toward an Earth-friendly lifestyle and maybe a smoother smile. If even one sweet turtle can be saved, I will do my part. If ever I am desperate for a straw, I guess I’ll go the reusable metal or glass route.

 

straws and straw dispenser
Bye Bye straws!

More on the Subject

Check out this Business Insider article for more about the demise of plastic straws.

What do you think about the use or ban of straws?

 

 

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Can’t Stop & The Tewksbury Book Festival

Location: The Meeting Room of Tewksbury Public Library 300 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA, 01876

Can’t Stop Thinking

When I began typing this post, the title Can’t Stop was meant to convey…can’t stop thinking about the events of the past few days. I am still in shock that my town and nearby Lawrence and Andover went through such a crazy and frightening incident. When the commotion began on Thursday, I was in the car with Ally driving her to a tutoring session in Andover. Suddenly, Ally began seeing all of the alerts on her phone. “Mom, there are gas explosions happening all over town,” she said. Not until I was stopped in traffic at the North Andover Common, with emergency vehicles flying by from every direction, did I know something very serious was happening.

Here’s the weird thing – my immediate reaction was to say, “Ally, I’m taking you home.” The problem was, for many, home was the problem. My neighborhood does not use gas and therefore I felt comfortable going to my “safe place.” However, I couldn’t escape the feeling that I didn’t really know what was going on. I wasn’t sure if, in fact, being at home was the best place to be.

With many friends still without gas, and one whose home was severely damaged by fire, I feel stuck. Stuck in a daze of concern, confusion and questions. I can’t stop thinking about how to proceed from here. The uncertainty of something like this can be crippling. I feel helpless and consumed with worry. I used to worry about the dangers we face when we walk out the door into this crazy world. Now, I can’t stop thinking about the dangers within.

Can’t Stop Living Life

With no good answer I, like many, are forging ahead. It feels strange to go about business as usual, but like I was recently advised, you can’t stop living life. Sadly, there many scary things we must face in life and I am reminded that we can’t live in fear. I so wish that came easier for me.

So today, I am here for those in my area who need anything. Meanwhile Andover, North Andover and Lawrence continue to get back on their feet. I will move forward with as much positivity as I can muster and carry on. That said, please see the details of Tewksbury’s upcoming Book Festival. Consider joining me and many other local authors in sharing our stories. Location: The Meeting Room of Tewksbury Public Library 300 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA, 01876.

 

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Back to School Next Week – The Unofficial End of Summer

Julia’s had a busy summer. This was just one of many books she had to finish.

 

This time next week, my girls will be back to school. I’m usually quite ready for this, but this time I’m a bit anxious. I cannot say why exactly, but I just don’t feel prepared. It has certainly been a busy summer, and that may be part of it, but other factors may be at play too.

Neither of my girls really required much back to school preparation this year. Sure, we’ve done some shopping, but nothing like when they were little and we’d fill a shopping cart at Target with every imaginable office supply known to man. Of course, the summer began late with end of school happening later than ever. I’m excited that blizzard bags have been instituted for this upcoming year ensuring a much earlier summer release. And of course there’s that little milestone that my oldest, Julia, will be experiencing in May –  high school graduation. Oh my, don’t even get me started! And then there’s my baby, Ally, who finished driver’s ed this summer and will soon be getting her permit. How can this be?

It’s going to be a big year. One that I am excited for, but a little apprehensive about too. As I write this, I’m thinking that invoking #MartiniMonday, as detailed in last week’s post, would be a good idea. It’s still summer after all!

On the bright side of things, I welcome the fall weather, more of a routine and more exciting things for Musing Mediterranean.

Blog Tour

Speaking of which. Musing Mediterranean is currently on a virtual blog tour. I am posting like mad about it and hope you will check out some of the great book blogs out there that have been kind enough to host me.  Here is a list and if you follow me on other social media platforms, you are sure to see more about each blog stop there.

August 27:

1: Rogues Angels

2: Edgar’s Books

3: fundinmental

4: This and That Book Blog

5: Welcome to My World of Dreams

6: Mixed Book Bag

 

August 28:

1: Fabulous and Brunette

2: Locks, Hooks and Books

3: Independent Authors

4: Readeropolis

5: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

6: Musings From An Addicted Reader

 

August 29:

1: Author C.A.Milson

2: Straight From the Library

3: T’s Stuff

4: Deal Sharing Aunt

5: Our Families Adventure

6: Sea’s Nod

 

August 30:

1: Bookaholic review

2: The Avid Reader

3: Reviews by Crystal

4: B-Gina Review

5: BooksChatter

 

August 31:

1: FUONLYKNEW

2: Kimmi Love

3: Sharing Links and Wisdom

4: Wake Up Your Wild Side

5: It’s Raining Books

6: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart REVIEW

7: Rainy Day Reviews

 

 

 

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High School Senior Portraits – Emily O’Brien Photography

Julia pose 1 high school senior portraits

If you have a rising high school senior, now is the time to be thinking about high school senior portraits.

In North Andover, a little controversy has arisen over this topic. The high school has mandated that yearbook photos be taken by a school sanctioned photographer. This has many parents up in arms and, truthfully, I’m not thrilled either. But the yearbook is just one thing. I’ve known the photographer I want to take Julia’s high school senior portraits for years. I’m thrilled to have Emily O’Brien capture this moment in time for Julia.

Emily O’Brien Photography

I feel so lucky to know Emily O’Brien of Emily O’Brien Photography. Not only is she talented, but I knew she’d be the perfect person to make Julia feel comfortable and fully engaged in her photo session.

What I love about Emily is that she’s young, with a current sense of style. Hailing from Boston’s South End she brings a sophistication and coolness to her high school senior portraits that I simply adore.

Emily O’Brien

Whether your senior wants portraits on the beach, in a garden, or among the fall leaves, Emily creates a personalized and memorable experience.

Check out all of Emily’s options here, including Bestie Sessions!

Julia’s High School Senior Portraits

Julia wanted her photos to reflect how she’s see her future and that’s in the heart of a big city. She and Emily (and Julia’s good friend Sophie) met at a charismatic location in Boston. Julia loved the opportunity to express her individuality while collaborating with Emily on looks, locations and poses.

“Working with Emily changed my experience having photos taken,” says Julia. “She made me feel so comfortable and at ease while posing in a busy public setting, when normally I’d fear embarrassment or judgement. Not only did Emily help set up poses, but her fun persona kept me laughing and looking natural throughout the experience. I’d absolutely recommend Emily to anyone looking to have photos done. It’s completely worth it to be comfortable and happy with the end product.”

Here’s just one more from Julia’s session. Her sweet smile says it all!

Julia high school senior portraits pose 2
That smile is so genuine!

Also, check out another gorgeous senior session as shown on Emily’s blog.

Senior Representative Team

As part of Emily’s senior rep team, Julia was lucky enough to join six other soon to be high school seniors for a fabulous group photo shoot. This unique program brings this team together for a true modeling experience complete with hair, makeup, art direction and more. Any one of these beautiful ladies can tell you just how amazing it is to work with Emily. Contact Emily to find out more about this opportunity for the senior class of 2020. This is a great example of how Emily goes above and beyond when it comes to senior portraits.

Phone: 508.667.3520
Studio Address: 60 Island Street, 3rd Floor, Lawrence, MA
Mailing Address: 725 Harrison Avenue E201, Boston, MA 02118
EmailEmily@emilyobrienphoto.com

 

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Where a Kitchen Television Used to be & Local Author Night

The featured photo shows a little spot on my kitchen counter where, formerly, sat a little TV. I’d watch that kitchen television in the mornings when I got the girls off to school or I’d have it playing in the background while I cooked a meal. I liked the distraction and, if you know me, you know I’m a TV junkie, so I take it whenever I can get it.

My kitchen television was rendered defunct when the cable box was moved to another TV location in the house. We have way too many TVs for one small family. When the change was made, I was fine with it and still am. Admittedly, I miss my kitchen television at times, but I’ve gained something much greater in its absence – peace of mind!

The vast majority of my kitchen television viewing was the local news. While I can honestly say that I hate watching the news even while watching it, I find myself constantly drawn to it. For the most part I want a quick check of the weather. Yet, the next thing I know, I’m sucked into all of the unbearable news stories that clutter the airwaves.

It would be one thing if I heard the nasty news of the day once but, as we all know, local news is on repeat for multiple hours of the day. The redundancy of such tragic stories is enough to leave even the most steady-minded person uneasy. For me, and my anxious ways, it’s just too much. The more I watch, the more cynical I become.

Now, without my kitchen television, I find I get what news I need online. I read it once and walk away. While I do feel a bit out of touch, I’m more serene. Not starting my days with negativity has left a lot of room for positivity and I’ll take all the positivity I can get.

Tonight – Let’s Talk Travel!

Please Join Me at Local Author Night At Steven’s Estate! I’d love to see you!

 

Musing Mediterranean – Purchase Now!

 

Available at Amazon! 

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