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Mother. English Instructor. Runner. I love the New York Mets, bridges terrify me, and I hate cottage cheese.

My dream world includes sunshine, boats, and endless chocolate

Photo by author

In my dream world, I’m surrounded by people — family, friends, loved ones I’ve lost, and trustworthy strangers. We play trivia and board games, share stories, laugh, and dance to a steady stream of 90s music.

I run in the mornings, near a beautiful body of water, where I take my son to swim. Some days are for adventure; others are for reading and writing. I enjoy vodka and club or a glass of Valpolicella while eating my nonna’s meatballs and gnocchi. Dessert always includes chocolate and peanut butter.

There are no bad hair days. It’s always summertime. …


And I’m sorry if I judged you.

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When my son was two years old, he had a full-scale meltdown in the greeting card aisle of Wal-Mart. As he screamed and writhed on the dirty floor, people walked past us down adjacent aisles — some of them glancing our way. It took nearly all my strength to get my son off the floor as he bent his torso back, flailed his arms, and kicked his legs. As he went into full octopus mode, I carried him outside.

Toddler Tantrums

Toddler tantrums are unique in that they can be triggered by almost anything. Situations that have led to my son’s tantrums…


A Spark of Light gives voices to various women and men on the controversial topic of abortion.

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While I haven’t read most of Jodi Picoult’s books, the ones I have read have been hit or miss for me. Delving into topics such as autism, school shootings, and abortion, Picoult clearly does copious research for each of her novels. I’ve learned so much from each of her books — even the ones I haven’t particularly liked. I didn’t enjoy The Tenth Circle and absolutely hated Leaving Time, but I really enjoyed House Rules, and Nineteen Minutes was one of the best books I’ve ever read.


Theatre of Dionysos in Athens (Photo by author)

My boyfriend and I arrived in Athens on June 11th and returned home on the 18th. During our week-long vacation, we got a glimpse into Greek culture. From cats to coffee, here are five aspects of Greek life I wasn’t aware of before our trip.

1. There are stray cats everywhere.

We first noticed them walking around the Acropolis. Unperturbed by people, cats of all colors wandered in and out of the small crowds. After our Acropolis tour, we walked down to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Again, cats wandered through outdoor tables and chairs as locals and tourists ate.


Anyone wishing to travel outside of the country should check the destination country’s government site for travel requirements.

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My boyfriend and I booked a trip to Greece and London back in December, which was risky considering Covid had been ramping up again in the US and we didn’t know what the pandemic landscape would look like in June, but our trip was refundable, so we decided to take the plunge. And I’m glad we did.

Preparation:

A couple of months before we left, I began checking the government websites for Greece and England for travel guidelines. Things changed every couple of weeks. Unfortunately, England required us to quarantine for 10 days after arrival, so we limited our trip to…


What can we learn from others? What defines good and evil? What’s the meaning of life? The Good Place explores all of this and more.

Image from Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The Good Place gave us four seasons of dynamic characters, plot twists, and witty one-liners. Though a light-hearted comedy, the show also provided valuable real-life lessons that can help us maintain happiness and health.

The Good Place begins when Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) dies in a freak accident and ends up in The Good Place — where all good-natured, virtuous humans spend their afterlife. Eleanor first encounters Michael (Ted Danson), who claims to be a good place architect. He describes The Good Place as a series of distinct neighborhoods containing specifically selected people who “blend together to a blissful harmonic…


These shows never made it past season two

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With all the new television shows that come out each year, it’s difficult to predict which will be successful. Even if a show makes it past the first season, it may get canceled before current storylines are finished or new ones can begin. Here are five shows that — despite strong character development and captivating storylines — never made it beyond the second season.

What About Brian? (2006–2007)


Nikki Hart’s boyfriend murdered her while their children slept in the next room. Nikki had been the victim of escalating abuse, but she never revealed her struggle to friends or…


Here’s what happened instead.

Photo from Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Giving a 4-year-old an eye test is tricky. The children’s eye chart isn’t made up of letters; instead, children identify different shapes: a house, a square, a triangle, a circle, an apple.

My son stood next to his pediatrician, a few feet away from these shapes. I encouraged him to tell us what he saw, line by line. Sometimes, he said the wrong shape, then laughed. When he got to the fourth line down, he told us he couldn’t see anything anymore.

I thought maybe he was just being silly. I looked at the doctor. “Sometimes…


Glennon Doyle’s Untamed is part memoir, part self-help book filled with advice, metaphors, and inspiring maxims.

Photo by Jessica Lucia

Untamed is sewn together as a string of vignettes — each chapter standing on its own while themes of self-realization, gender constructs, and feminism are threaded throughout.

Many of Doyle’s vignettes center around her past experiences and how she found her “knowing”: the voice deep inside that urges her to trust herself; her intuition. Others focus on the lessons she either learns from or imparts onto her children. She emphasizes the differences between her daughters — one feisty and one hesitant — in a chapter entitled “Ears.” …

Jessica Lucia

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