Winterlights – A New Tradition in North Andover

I was so happy to be invited to the opening of Winterlights at The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. There is nothing like the twinkle of holidays lights to get a person in the holiday spirit. To have a wonderland of lights spread throughout the beautiful grounds of a historic home was nothing short of magical.

I snuck peak of this spectacular display  at dusk last Thursday night. I felt so happy to be frolicking through the luminaria lit paths and all I could think of was how wonderful this experience will be for little kids and their families.

The opportunity to walk the various gardens, identify each of Santa’s reindeer, stroll through the poinsettia filled greenhouse, warm my hands by the firepit and discover Santa’s den, where you can leave Santa a letter or meet him in person on December 15th, was quintessentially kid-like in the best way possible.

In addition to The Stevens-Coolidge Place, The Trustees have introduced Winterlights at their Nuamkeag property in Stockbridge, MA. Don’t miss the opportunity to brighten your season at either location.

Winterlights runs through December 30th and opens in Stockbridge this Thursday.

FYI

OPEN THURSDAYS – SUNDAYS through December 30th

Entrance to the gardens is ticketed in 15-minute increments between 5-8PM. Purchase your tickets in advance here. Choose your preferred location for your ticket options.
Members: $12
Nonmembers: $17
Children 12 and under: FREE

Fun For All Ages

While I know that little kids and their parents will love this, I fully intend to go back with my teenage daughters and husband. This is a family event that everyone is sure to enjoy.

More Information

For more detail visit thetrustees.org. and be sure to check out each Winterlights night’s featured entertainment such as Tetra-Fire performer, Crispelli on December 9th or Ice Princesses on December 29th. Full calendar of events here. Choose your preferred location to see the performances and activities near you.

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Gift Idea – His & Hers José and Rosé

 

 

 

I love a good theme – costume themes, party themes and especially gift themes. Recently, I thought of a couple’s gift idea that I thought was pretty clever, if I do say so myself. I’m sure I’m not the first to ever put these items together, but I was pretty pleased with the collection when I did. So, I thought I’d share.

It’s so simple!

A José & Rosé Gift Basket

BTW – did you know that placing the acute accent on a vowel, such as é or á is as simple as holding that letter down on the keyboard of your Mac? When you do, your accent options pop up and you can choose which one you need. This is also true on your iPhone. Who knew? Probably everyone but me, but maybe this is helpful to some.

OK, back to my José & Rosé gift idea…

I gathered just a few items for each part of the theme – José Cuervo Tequila, Margarita Mix and Spanish nuts for Him and a nice bottle of Rosé wine, a bunch of roses and a box of chocolates for Her. You could certainly build on these themes and create an even more dramatic basket but, for my recent purpose, three items for each worked well and I hope made a nice impression.

There you have it – my José Rosé gift idea. Simple, fun, good for a his and hers gift together or just one boozy basket for a guy or girl alone.

Olé and Rosé All Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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