Musing Mediterranean

Musing Mediterranean
Musing Mediterranean book cover


I was flipping through Instagram on Saturday and my heart skipped a beat when I scrolled past my very own book cover. WiDo Publishing/E.L. Marker had posted a teaser for the Musing Mediterranean book cover. While I had just finalized the book cover with the designer, seeing it on social media stopped me in my tracks. Wow! This dream just got real.

If you’ve followed my writing for a while, you may recognize the art from my old column, Matters of Life & Beth, in Merrimack Valley Magazine. Artist, Ken Bonin, reprised his role as my talented caricaturist and Stephen Pennimpede artfully brought the drawing to life in color.

Thank you both so much!


I couldn’t have asked for a better representation of what Musing Mediterranean is all about. I am so excited to share this story with you very soon.

Reserve Your Copy of Musing Mediterranean!

I hope you enjoy the cover as much as I do and please consider signing up for your reserve copy today. Scroll to the bottom of my press release to enter your email.

4 Comments Continue Reading

The Dash Diet – A Thumbs Up So Far

The Dash Diet Book

I‘ve been here before and I’ll be here again. I’m trying a new diet. This time I’m giving The Dash Diet by Marla Heller, MS, RD a try. Why a diet, you ask? And why not the last diet I blogged about, The Dukan Diet, from which I had some success? Well, let me begin with the latter. While I achieved my goal with The Dukan Diet, I didn’t find the combination of foods to be appetizing. So my brain immediately turned against the idea of doing it again.

But why a diet at all? Typically, my philosophy is to eat healthy foods in moderation and exercise. Let’s face facts, things change. By things, I mean waistlines and numbers on the scale.

My Big Mistake

Allow me to share my biggest mistake which brought me to The Dash Diet. I was struggling to see movement on the scale despite bouts of good eating and solid exercise. I was frustrated and bought into the fact that women “my age” (let’s just leave it at that) experience a harder time losing weight. To that I said, “screw it” and did away with my regular weigh-ins.

There began my problem. Months after my scale boycott, I felt uncomfortable. Winter weight perhaps? My jeans were tight and I didn’t like how I looked. I dared step back on the scale and was shocked. I had reached a high that was flat out unacceptable.


I had to do something and needed a structured plan to turn things around. Without something to follow, I simply leave too much to chance and thoughtlessly overindulge.

On the recommendation from a friend, who looked amazing after having spent three months on The Dash Diet, I decided to get serious and give it a try too.

I’m about one month in and so far so good. Things are moving in the right direction, albeit slowly.

Why I like The Dash Diet

First, it originated as a plan to reduce high blood pressure. While I do not suffer from high blood pressure, it runs in my family and I have a very strong reaction to high levels of sodium. The reduced sodium in this diet does me a lot of good.

Second, I like the food on The Dash Diet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a diet and the options are limited, but what the meal plans suggest, I like. Certain kinds of cheeses are allowed, nuts and eggs are go-tos and one of the lunch options is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sold! This was my kind of diet.



Sugar, of course, is not a friend on The Dash Diet. Is it ever? But the way the food is rationed throughout the day, I find my blood sugar is so stable that my sugar highs and lows have disappeared. My constant hunger and need to snack has subsided – all the while I feel satisfied.


While I’m still working to undo the damage of my winter hibernation, I’m most happy that The Dash Diet has given me a semblance of control again. I no longer feel wildly ravenous and have been able to make smart decisions when it comes to what I’m consuming.

Like with any diet, this one is not for everyone but summer’s coming so I thought I’d share.

2 Comments Continue Reading

Dress to Impress Event at Dani Kaye – I’ll Be Modeling 😳

Dani Kaye floral top, shoes, handbag earrings and cuff


Join me, stylist Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs and store owner Jaime Sloan for a fun, Dress to Impress, in-store event on

Saturday, April 21st from 1-3pm


Dani Kaye Dress to Impress promo


Dani Kaye is North Andover’s newest one-stop shop for fashion. At this event, Lysa, Jaime and her team will help you select the perfect dress for any occasion. Dani Kaye’s selection of accessories, including SPANX, will help you complete your look.

Enjoy 20% off your dress this Saturday. I will be modeling looks styled by Lysa and, if you recall, I am no stranger to Lysa’s talents. Check out my own style makeover with Lysa back in January.

Dani Kaye is located at 85 Main Street, North Andover.

I hope to see you there.

Saturday, April 21st from 1-3!


One Comment Continue Reading

Book Update – Musing Mediterranean Coming Soon!

Musing Mediterranean book cover featuring parthenon, colosseum and library of celsus
A sneak peek!


It’s hard to believe the book I started in 2012 is soon to be published. In conjunction with E.L. Marker, I anticipate Musing Mediterranean to be released in early summer.

It has been such a passion project to this point, I can’t imagine what it will feel like to hold the first copy in my hands. Truthfully, none of it seemed real until I began working with an artist to craft the book cover. If you’ve been following my writing for a while you may recognize the artwork when it is fully revealed. For now, I’ve given you a just a glimpse of what the cover will include. I hope you like this sneak peek and hopefully I’m not giving too much away.

If you’re new to my blog or haven’t heard me mention Musing Mediterranean, here is a little bit of what you can expect. It’s a feel-good book chronicling my 2012 family trip to Greece, Italy and Turkey. It’s a light-hearted, summer read that I like to say is a little bit of Eat Pray Love meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Check out the press release put out by E.L. Marker here. Scroll to bottom to reserve your copy!

I like to think readers who’ve never been to the Mediterranean will enjoy seeing the countries I visited through my eyes. Readers, who have already traveled these lands, may enjoy a trip down memory lane. And readers who suffer a touch of travel anxiety, like I do, may enjoy the ridiculous, hopefully relatable, lengths I’ll go through to avoid being a shameless homebody. Here’s an excerpt I posted on the blog a while back.

I’m both excited and nervous about the book’s release. While I’m proud to have completed this book, the hard part, for me anyway, is yet to come. The selling and self-promotion of Musing Mediterranean will undoubtedly be my biggest challenge.

I hope you’ll help me with this last part because, God knows, I’m going to stress over every attempt I make at giving this little book of mine its fair shake at success.

I expect the next time I blog about Musing Mediterranean will be to announce it’s release. Woohoo!

Any advice or suggestions are more than welcome!

For the Record

I want to send Andy Cohen from BravoTV a copy of my book and have it appear on Watch What Happens Live! If anyone knows him, please hook a girl up. #bookgoals.

6 Comments Continue Reading

Dash & Albert Rugs at Helen Thomas Andover

Photo by Lisa DiAntonio of Green Park Studios


I have a weird thing when it comes to rugs. They’re always the last thing on my mind. Until recently when I had occasion to redecorate Tony’s home office and attended a Rejuvenate Your Space workshop at Helen Thomas in Andover. There I discovered their collection of Dash & Albert rugs. Check out my post about the workshop and office makeover here.

Dash & Albert Rugs

Stacks of beautiful rug samples line the back wall at Helen Thomas. I was drawn to the gorgeous colors and textures and spotted one sample, in particular, I thought would work amazingly well in Tony’s newly reimagined office.

I knew the lighter tone of the rug would be perfect to brighten the small room and the geometric pattern in blue was perfect to pick up on the blue tones I already had going in the room. It also had just the modern simplicity I was going for.

Of the many Dash & Albert rugs that Lisa Schiavone, owner of Helen Thomas, has available, I chose the Moroccan inspired, Numa hand knotted wool rug in blue. It also comes in a charcoal pattern. The blue lines are a perfect pop of color on the floor that also serves to tie all of the other blue accents together.

Our Rug

We couldn’t be happier with our Numa rug. It creates such a warm and cozy environment in a place that was formerly dull and unwelcoming.



Stop into Helen Thomas Andover

If you are in the market for a rug, be sure to stop into Helen Thomas in Andover to see their selection of Dash & Albert rugs. Oscar loves this rug so much that he prefers it over his big, blue bed that nearly takes over Tony’s office.



Also, be sure to ask Lisa about all of her home décor and design services.

Helen Thomas is located at 90 Main St. Andover, MA (978) 475-7981.

0 Comments Continue Reading