I AM Books Event and Patriots Tickets Raffle

Hi everyone-

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. I’m gearing up for my last book reading/signing for a while.

I AM Books

This Sunday, 10/14/18 at 4pm. I will be at I AM Books in the North End. I’m excited to check out this independent Boston bookstore and share my Italy stories with anyone who can make it.

 

Ticket Raffle

If you are on the fence, but up for a late night, consider stopping by for the chance to win two Patriots tickets for that same night. It’s a late game, 8:20 pm, so there’ll be plenty of time to come by the bookstore at 4pm (or earlier), purchase a copy of Musing Mediterranean and be on your way to Foxboro if you are the lucky winner. I will draw the winner at 5pm.

 

I am books logo

 

Hope you can make it! If you can’t, but know someone willing to take their chances to see the Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs, please spread the word.

Ciao and Go Pats!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Frayed Denim – Break Out Your Scissors and Get the Look

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for months, since my friend and fashion stylist, Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs, turned me on to the idea.

She gave me the courage to take a pair of scissors to almost every pair of jeans I have in an effort to update my look. Lysa is fearless when it comes to “making your wardrobe work for you.” She’s cut everything from jeans to shirt sleeves to necklines to get the look she’s going for.

The good news was, I had a lot of options. Like with shoes, I have trouble getting rid of my old jeans. I have far more than I ever wear and some are so ridiculously dated, they are better suited for Halloween costumes than anything I’d ever wear in public.

But huzzah, my hoarding ways paid off. Some of these jeans can be worn again with one minor adjustment. Cut the hems! There’s no escaping that frayed denim is in. While some varieties go too far for my taste in the way of distressing, I do love the look of frayed denim when it comes to the jean’s hem.

It’s so simple – no more cuffing, scrunching or pegging (lol, remember that from the 80s?). Now you can cut your jeans to the perfect length and achieve the frayed denim look to just the right degree.

The perfect length is important to me because jeans that are too long make me look sloppy. Those too short make my already short legs look even stumpier. Now, I can achieve my perfect length in just a few steps. I have done this with both skinny jeans and old boot leg jeans and have created some great new options. Check out all of the fun angles you can try…

frayed denim hem options

The Frayed Denim Hem

Step 1

Start slow and take a sharp pair of scissors to your hem. Try them on. Not short enough? Cut a little more. Just be careful you don’t go too far or you’ll have yourself a nice pair of cut-off shorts. That’s definitely not what we are going for here.

Step 2

Once you are happy with the length, toss those bad boys in the wash. Only then will the fray appear giving you that trendy, undone look that is so hot right now. The more you wash the more frayed they’ll become. Too frayed? Just clean them up with your trusty scissors.

Step 3

Wear your newly styled jean with a fun pair of shoes and give yourself a pat on the back. Job well done! You’ve just earned yourself a new look and repurposed what was likely a perfectly good pair of jeans that just needed a little update.

This was my simplistic version of this hem hack, but check out this post from POPSUGAR for a bit more detail – How to Cut Your Jeans.


 

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON-order my debut travel book Musing Mediterranean today!

 

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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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Fall TV – Whatcha Watchin’?

fall tv graphic

Before getting into my favorite subject, I’d like to thank the folks at the 2018 Andover Greek Festival. What a fabulous event! I so enjoyed sharing Musing Mediterranean with the attendees. And to the little girl (maybe 11 or 12) who asked so many great questions about my book and came back with her own money to buy it, you absolutely made my day! Keep reading and writing – you are MY inspiration.

Summer to Fall TV

Ok, now on to TV. Talk about a dry spell. Summer was rough as far as shows to watch. There just wasn’t much that held my interest. Thank God for Netflix.

Breaking Bad

I did manage to break away from my silly sitcoms when I became fully engrossed in Breaking Bad. I know – a little late to the party. Normally, I don’t watch dark shows like this, but I became hooked after first watching a few seasons with Tony, then wrapping up on my own while working out at home. I found watching in the morning or with company helped offset the terror I would normally feel when viewing solo at night. I seriously almost fell off the treadmill several times during some of the crazy, violent scenes – Good Lord! Maybe now I can finally watch Ozark.

OITNB

Once through Breaking Bad, I needed a new show to keep me distracted on the treadmill. I turned to the new season of Orange is the New Black. I’m still not done. I found this latest season so boring.

With little else to draw my attention, I began trolling Netflix to find something, anything, to latch on to.

Kath & Kim

Somehow I landed on a 2002 Australian sitcom about a mother and daughter living in suburbia called Kath & Kim. Has anyone seen this? I’ve always enjoyed British comedy – I was addicted to Absolutely Fabulous, but Australian humor may be even more outrageous. Once I was able to understand their accents, I found this show to be off-the-wall and purely entertaining. Warning: this show is honestly totally ridiculous – it was just too funny not to watch.

Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope

Off to another part of the world. I landed in Ireland watching a show called Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope. Two super short seasons follow a couple of 20-something women in Dublin whose partying ways get in the way of their friendship and success. This was an interesting show and I quickly became invested in the ladies’ stories.

Sisters

Netflix must have noticed my trend toward foreign programs because I recently noticed its suggestion for Sisters, another Australian based show. This one, a drama bringing three women together who discover they are sisters. It’s revealed that their biological father parented over 100 children in a fertility clinic debacle. This show is a bit odd, but yet again I’m sucked in. The first season is only seven episodes, so it’ll be over before I know it.

Fall TV

With all of these obscure distractions, I nearly forgot that Fall TV is finally here. I’m not particularly excited about any one show, but a couple I may check out are:

A Million Little Things (ABC) – a This is Us inspired tear-jerker seems depressing on its premise alone, but may have an interesting plotline assuming they don’t try to outdo This is Us. I kind of think they are going to try to do that, in which case I probably won’t like it.

The Neighborhood (CBS) – Not sure about this one but it has Max Greenfield, Schmidt from New Girl, and I’d love to see more of him.

I’m not really sure what else too look forward to. Any suggestions?

What are you watching this fall?

 

 

 

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