Giveaway Winners & Helen Thomas Andover Event Update



Thank you to everyone who participated in my first giveaway.

Storm Stella may have knocked out power, but it hasn’t knocked out our Irish Spirit.

The party must go on…

The previously scheduled St. Patrick’s Day Party at Helen Thomas Andover is happening tonight from 6-9pm. If you are local, be sure to swing in and enjoy the festivities.

Time:               6:00-9:00pm
Where:            Helen Thomas, 90 Main St. #2, Andover, MA 01810
What:              Irish Specialty Items, book signing by Ellen Alden, Irish Music and refreshments.

Despite the event delay, we went ahead and ran the blog giveaway contest as originally scheduled, last night at 8pm.

Blog giveaway shamrock wine glass, kiss me I'm Irish socks, Your Faithfully novel

The lucky winner of the trio of Irish themed gifts is: Meghan Londergan


And the winner of the beautiful Lola Celtic necklace is: Patricia Donahue

Congratulations and enjoy your wonderful items.

Please contact me directly at to arrange receipt of your prize.

I wish you all a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and a special thank you to Lisa Schiavone, owner of Helen Thomas Andover, for collaborating with me on this giveaway.




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Blog Giveaway & Helen Thomas Andover St. Paddy’s Day Event

Blog giveaway shamrock wine glass, kiss me I'm Irish socks, Your Faithfully novel


I am excited to run my first blog giveaway here at 3 Olives & a Twist. Together with Helen Thomas of Andover and local author, Ellen Alden, I have two great prizes to give away.

For Anyone

First, I have a trio of great Irish themed gifts.

♣ A cute pair of “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” message socks, designed by Heather Jacobs, are just the thing to wear when you’re ready to kick up and pucker up.

♣ This Lucky Shamrock wine glass, designed by Heather Jacobs,  is sure to bring luck with every sip.

♣ Enjoy this copy of Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke by Andover author, Ellen Alden. While in her attic, Ellen discovered nineteen Civil War letters written by her great, great grandfather to his wife and children. That discovery set Ellen on the path to tell their compelling story.

To win this great bundle, subscribe for my blog (check box in comments section) or Like my 3 Olives & a Twist Facebook page.  When you’ve done that, add a comment below saying Three’s a Charm!

For Local Friends

(or anyone who can attend Wednesday’s event)

Blog giveaway Lola Celtic knot necklace


Enter a chance to win this beautiful Lola Celtic Knot necklace, valued at $85. To win, subscribe for my blog or Like my 3Olives & a Twist Facebook page. Then add a comment below saying Lola!

Be sure to show up to the Helen Thomas on Wednesday night when winners will be chosen at 8pm.  To win the Lola necklace, attendance is required.

So, what’s happening on Wednesday?  Here are the details…

Date:               Wednesday, March 15th
Time:               6:00-9:00pm
Where:            Helen Thomas, 90 Main St. #2, Andover, MA 01810
What:              Irish Specialty Items, book signing by Ellen Alden, Irish Music, Irish refreshments & blog giveaway!

Come join us in the spirit of the Irish and dress in your most festive lad and lass garb to add to the fun. Thank you for participating in my first blog giveaway!

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3 Olives & a Twist Turns 0ne!

3 Olives & a Twist logo
Cocktail Conversations–A Lifestyle Blog


The Blog

One year ago yesterday, I launched this blog.  I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by and what a fun ride it has been.

3 Olives & a Twist started out as a place to build excitement for my book, Musing Mediterranean.  Somewhere along the way, it took on a life of its own and afforded me the pleasure of posting about some fantastic subjects and experiences.

The Book

As far as the book goes, Musing Mediterranean is done. It is edited, proofed and currently being pitched to literary agents. Wish me luck in landing a good one!


Beth is currently working on her first book.
Musing Mediterranean is done!


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I am excited to see what year two brings.  What I already know is that more collaborations are under way, with great people and great businesses.

Coming soon – my first blog giveaway. Stay tuned!

What About You?

I’d love your opinion. What do you want to hear about going forward and what can I do differently?

Tell me your suggestions. Would you like more product reviews? Should posts be shorter? Would you like to see more guest bloggers? Anyone in particular?

Talk to me and let me know what you think.

I’d like to continue to spread the word about 3 Olives & a Twist as well as share more stories about the great people, places, businesses and experiences in our area.

My goal is to reach more readers and I’d love your help. If you like a post, please share it. If there’s a topic I should write about please let me know. If you think the blog provides valuable information, please let your friends know about it and suggest they follow along by subscribing or liking my Facebook page.

As always, thank you so much for reading. Have a fabulous day and weekend!

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An Excerpt from Musing Mediterranean – A Travel Experience

scaffolding on the Parthenon in Athens Greece - an excerpt from Musing Mediterranean

More from Musing Mediterranean

This week on the blog, I am sharing two excerpts from my book, Musing Mediterranean, which chronicles a 2012 family trip to Greece, Italy and Turkey. On Monday, I shared an excerpt talking about our time in Rome, Italy. Today, I share a moment from Athens, Greece.

My goal in writing this book was to convey a true travel experience from beginning to end. With that, there are good times and, sometimes, not so good.

In this excerpt from Musing Mediterranean, I reveal a moment that fell short of my expectations. Despite some disappointment, I was still glad to have made the journey.

An Excerpt from Musing Mediterranean – The Parthenon

I suppose the fantasy of Greece that I’d created in my mind would have been hard for any reality to live up to. I’m not saying it wasn’t great, but not quite as life changing as I thought it would be. For me, the pivotal moment in Greece came early in our travels there. The place I most wanted to see was the Parthenon. The image of this massive temple had always been distinctly emblazoned in my brain. The notion of actually seeing it and walking through the sacred grounds of the Acropolis became something of a quest. From the time I was a little girl, my family, including aunts, uncles and cousins, would spend time together flipping through my Yia Yia and Papou’s photo albums. They traveled a lot and while their photos from Spain, Hawaii and many other places were fun to look at, nothing stuck with me more than the photos of their trips to Greece. Something about their proud expressions as they stood together, most often with my grandmother’s sister Stella, left me with a strong desire to go where they’d gone and see what they saw. I always knew that someday I would see the Parthenon myself.

My grandparents’ photos of this prominent example of historical architecture have always remained at the forefront of my memory. The same is true for a particular piece of jewelry that my mother and aunts each wore, and still do to this day. They were gold pendants, probably about two inches in diameter, each featuring a dazzling rendition of the Parthenon. My Yia Yia had gifted one to each of her three daughters-in-law. Each woman, none of whom is Greek, has always worn hers with pride.

Upon arriving in the vicinity of the Acropolis, a hot trek up the hill to see the hallowed grounds and the Parthenon itself was required. This day, more than any other, was super steamy. So much so, you could see the haze in the air. The temperature had to have been in the mid-nineties, if not higher.

I’m strong in many ways, but heat is my kryptonite. I may be the only New Englander whose least favorite season is summer. I just can’t handle the unrelenting sun. While others thrive in the warmth of the summer months, I slowly fade away, trudging through the heat and humidity desperately awaiting the arrival of fall.

With every effort to shake off my funk, I forged ahead. Beautiful Kalamata olive trees grew in groves all around us. Stray dogs slept in any shady area they could find. The ten minute walk seemed much longer in the heat, but we were all thrilled to at last set our eyes on the Parthenon at the top of the hill.

“What the hell?” I scowled as I first laid eyes on the structure. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

The entire face of the Parthenon was covered in scaffolding.

I had expected this to be a real “ah ha” moment. Instead, the words I blurted out were, “This is such an eyesore – I am so disappointed.”

Apparently, the Parthenon had been under renovation for eight years. Unfortunately, none of our travel literature had alerted us to this fact. Not that we wouldn’t have come, but at least we could have altered our expectations accordingly.

“I can’t believe this,” I said to everyone in my party. “This is such a letdown!”

“I know,” Karla agreed. “I had no idea it would be like this. What a shame.”

“Would you two relax,” my Dad said dismissively. “It’s fine. You can see through the scaffolding and you know what it looks like anyway.”

Thank You

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Musing Mediterranean, and I welcome your feedback.

Have a great weekend!

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An Excerpt from My Book, Musing Mediterranean

Julia and Ally eating spaghetti in Rome - an excerpt from Musing Mediterranean

Musing Mediterranean

In the past week, I began final edits on my book. I started writing Musing Mediterranean in 2012 following a remarkable family trip to Greece, Italy and Turkey It has now been reviewed, revised (at least six times) and professionally edited. This week I will finalize it before seeking representation by a literary agent or publisher.

I can’t believe I’m finally at a stopping point – it feels good to have seen it through to completion. It’s also scary to now subject my work to critical review. Whatever happens with my book, I did what I set out to do. I wrote something longer and more significant than a magazine article and for that I am proud.

Back in August, I posted about the book calling it My Never Ending Story. It’s a light-hearted read – I like to describe it as Eat, Pray, Love meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding. More than a travel book, it’s a travel experience. In it I discuss food, family and the faraway places we visited. I also talk about the travel anxiety that nearly prevented me from taking the trip in the first place.

This week on the blog, I would like to share two excerpts.  I welcome your feedback and I’d love for you to share this post if you are so inclined.

The featured photo is one of my favorites from our time in Rome.  My girls were so little then. This quintessential Italian meal followed our visit to the Vatican.  It was a holy day, but what I’d learn, well after we returned home, is that nothing is ever too sacred for my husband and brother-in-law to find an excuse to celebrate.

I hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from Musing Mediterranean.

After The Vatican – An Excerpt

Most of the grown-ups imbibed in typical fashion – reserving “adult refreshments” for dinners, happy hours, night caps – you get the idea. Bob and Tony, however, never missed a chance to sample a European beer, shot or glass of vino. Lunch, brunch, dinner; it was all great timing for them. They are big guys so they could handle it. I, on the other hand, would never make it out of my cabin if Mimosas or Bloody Marys were on the menu before noon. Courtesy of Bob and Tony alone, we have so many photos of bottles of beer that I was seriously thinking about censoring the family photo album.

In one photo taken in Rome, snapped surreptitiously by Bob, Tony is pictured holding something in a shot glass alongside a waiter by the name of Giorgio. This adorable, Italian young man served us a wonderful meal after our day at the Vatican. It all seemed very wholesome as we enjoyed our outdoor seating: Julia and Ally slurped spaghetti and Paolo and Ivana told us where they were headed after Rome.

Meanwhile, inside, there was an impromptu celebration happening at the bar.

When I first opened the photo link that Bob sent me and saw this picture, I had to stop to think about where we were.

Tony, why is it that no matter where we are or what time of day, you manage to make it a party? I said pointing to his photo with Giorgio.

What do you mean? Oh that, we just wanted to toast Giorgio for his great service.

When did Bob and Tony slip away from our quaint sidewalk table to sneak a shot of some random Italian spirit with the waiter? To think that we had just spent a holy day at the Vatican complete with knees and shoulders covered.

For the record, Tony would not let me post the photo of him and Giorgio!

Thursday’s Post – Another Excerpt from Musing Mediterranean

Thank you – stay tuned for another excerpt from Musing Mediterranean this Thursday featuring The Parthenon.

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