All posts for the month October, 2012

Finally, Heathy Products in a Vending Machine!

Published October 15, 2012 by Maryanne


Fresh Vending machine

Today I went to the YMCA for a business meeting and lo and behold, I saw the most amazing site — I just couldn’t believe my eyes. A vending machine filled with healthy snacks — and I mean REALLY healthy snacks, not “lesser of two evils” kinda snacks.

Wow, where was this concept when I still worked at an office?

Years ago when I was still at the Montclair Times, I’d catch the vendor loading up the machine and I’d say to him, “Can’t you at least get something in here like a Lara bar?”

I was told, “No.”

But, wow, this vending machine I saw today was a site for sore eyes! And these sore eyes couldn’t believe what they saw — Annie’s Naturals crackers and Panda licorice. YUM!

I remembered the name of the franchise: “Fresh Vending” and when I got home I looked it up on the internet. They also provide these healthy products: Hint Water, Honest Tea, R.W. Knudsen Spritzers, Tazo iced teas, Zola acai juice, Late July crackers and cookies, and all sorts of baked crackers and chips. AND LARA BARS!

In my opinion, these machines should be all over the place — in offices, hospitals, shopping centers, convenience stores, gas stations, rest areas … anywhere you’d stop, they should be.  If people had more healthy choices available to them they wouldn’t have to resort to bad food in a pinch.

If you are a homebody and cook all your meals at home, work at home, stay at home all the time and can brag about eating nothing but organic, fresh whole foods — good, more power to you.

But some of us like to be out on the road, seeing the world. I’m definitely an “on the road” kinda girl and am always extra happy when I come across healthy treats along the way!

So may Fresh Vending prosper to the point where it’s a household name! I bless Fresh Vending with a ton of good vibes success now and 50 years from now!

Thank you, Fresh Vending! Thank you so much!

Frankenweenie was a Tear Jerker!

Published October 15, 2012 by Maryanne


Frankenweenie was a tear jerker!

I am not saying it wasn’t a super duper fantastic movie — just be prepared to cry, especially if you:

A. Ever had a dog

B. Love animals

I just want to snuggle Sparky! Squee!!!!!!!

I remember seeing the original back in the 1980s and loving it.  But this remake is better. Tim Burton totally outdid himself  just in time for my favorite season of the year, Halloween.

It’s touching, clever, funny and thought-provoking.

Winona Ryder had a major voice role in this and sings too. (I always loved her unique voice!)

And I always love “stop animation.”

ENJOY, but don’t forget your tissues!



Published October 12, 2012 by Maryanne



All week I was running around with no time to go to the bank.

Since today I don’t have appointments until later in the morning, last night I was organizing a few checks and bills.

When I went to make out a deposit slip of what’s going into the bank, the total was “666.”

I’m not superstitious, but I didn’t want to put that evil number on a bank slip — just in case.

I’ve been about numbers and numerology for over 25 years. I memorized what numbers are good for me, and even though 666 = the number of my wedding day, 9 (6+6+6 = 18; 8 +1 = 9), according to Angel Numbers 101 (by Doreen Virtue) 666 means that your thoughts are too focused on material illusions (which certainly isn’t me, so I definitely needed to change the vibrations!)

Then realizing that I’ll be traveling today, I could use an extra $5 cash for tolls.

I subtracted $5 from $666, bringing my total deposit to $661, which adds up to 13. (6 + 6 + 1 = 13)

While some fear 13 as unlucky (and I did once have a very unlucky Friday the 13th where I totaled a brand new car I had less than a year!) it really isn’t a number to be feared, as it stands for an ascending master, such as Jesus Christ. Very positive, of course!

So, 13 it is! (On Oct. 12, making it a double 13, today and tomorrow! 13-13, reminding me of one of Lydia Lunch’s cool back-up bands she had early on too!)

And all this from a dyslexic who often struggles with numbers!

Happy 12th and Happy 13th too!




Turtle Back Zoo in October

Published October 7, 2012 by Maryanne

Kangaroo and Wallaby (you tell the difference by the sizes.)

Damn, I got it going on!

Yesterday was the second day I got to take advantage of the Turtle Back Zoo membership I received on my birthday back in August.

Life has been crazy lately with all my work and projects, so it was nice to slow down a bit and take a walk around the zoo, getting fresh air, exercise and practicing my new hobby of shooting animals (and my husband said, “I’m going to have to get you a better camera.” Maybe for Christmas, I hope!)

The above shots were the best two of the day.

In the top shot it appears that it’s mother and baby. But it’s actually two different types of animals (which I learned on Saturday). The kangaroo is much bigger than the smaller wallaby. I also learned that a wallaby is friendlier to humans and a kangaroo can get nasty and knock you out with a punch!

I was very lucky to get a photo of the peacock perched. It looks like he is posing.

Enjoy these and hopefully I’ll keep getting better. This was only my second attempt at animal photography with a digital camera.

Super Fats!

Published October 7, 2012 by Maryanne

Another healthy obsession of mine!

I can’t stress how tired I am of going to Whole Foods and hearing vendors promoting their products using the “fat free” card.

I’ve said it once. I’ve said it twice. I’ve said it a thousand times. FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY!

Fat is GOOD for you.


Fat is a vital nutrient. Fatty acids are good for healthy skin, muscular strength and growth, and vitamin absorption. Fats contribute to a healthy nervous system and can help lubricate your joints.

Now I’m not talking about hydrogenated, saturated fats and trans fats. I’m talking about GOOD FATS such as: avocados, cold pressed olive oils, nuts, fatty fish, and my favorite: raw extra virgin coconut oil (see above photo!)

In addition to the benefits of healthy fats, additional health benefits gained from using raw extra virgin coconut oil include: stress relief, proper digestion, thyroid function, increased immunity, healing infections, relief from high blood pressure and even WEIGHT LOSS!

This stuff just melts in your mouth.  I use this product most often in non-homogenized yogurt and on my Ezekiel low-glycemic raisin bread. And sometimes I’ll use it on a baked sweet potato, the combination of the two tastes like a marzipan treat!

This delicious treat is so tasty, sometimes I just spoon it out of the jar and enjoy!

Step aside super foods and super fruits — make way for the super fats! And I nominate raw extra virgin coconut oil to be at the top of the list!

Good Girl Gets Karma

Published October 6, 2012 by Maryanne

Happy Me!

The other day I was at an event and people were in a hurry to get through the doors.

What else is new? People are always in a hurry.  A woman cut in front of me, and I was like, yeah whatever, and politely let her cut in front of me.

So finally, it comes to my turn to get in, get my name card, etc. and I got a ticket for a door prize.

After signing in, I went to the bathroom and when I returned I was told, “I think you won the door prize.”

I checked my ticket and it was true, I won $50 — cash — and everyone applauded as I walked through the door.

Instant karma! Had I argued with that woman who cut in front of me and if I went ahead of her, she would have won the door prize, not me!

Proof that sometimes arguing just isn’t worth it, and if you take the high road you’ll come out ahead!

Going with the Flow

Published October 1, 2012 by Maryanne

Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Nothing is more refreshing than taking a walk on the beach, off-season.

It’s less crowded. A little cooler so you need a jacket, yet it’s still warm enough to walk around in the sand barefoot and even get your feet wet.

It was a nice weekend all around. After a very hard-working, yet fulfilling week (because I just love all my projects and people I am doing them with) it was well deserved to just turn everything off for many hours and enjoy the pleasures of us, our friends and our own little life.

Last night we went to a local hotel bar to meet my friend Emily who was in town that I hadn’t seen in about eight years. The three of us had some very insightful conversations about life, music and art. I had known Emily for 10 years now, and we both joked around about growing older — the pros and cons of it all. It was actually the first time I really talked to Emily without the distractions of being in a nightclub together. It was just a pleasant, low-key night that we all enjoyed very much.

Today was a beautiful day. My husband and I slept later than usual, got up, watched a bit of a Queen documentary, which we recorded to watch later. Queen, a band I loved my entire life, mainly because I discovered them at age 12 and they helped me get through so much aggravation of being 12 and 13 — crucial years where most kids go through that awkward period of life. Those two years of growing pains were very long, I must say! While time flies for an 18 or 19-year-old, it drags like hell for a 12-year-old kid. So, thank you Queen for easing the pain of those years.

Just a few hours after a healthy breakfast of organic eggs cooked with raw coconut butter, I caved and enjoyed a blueberry bagel with vegetable cream cheese that I really sunk my teeth into, literally, while driving down the shore with my husband, and no radio, just enjoying each others company.

Our first stop was to visit our friend Ron who runs a punk rock video space at a flea market. We always love chatting with him about music and other cool things. Especially how, all three of us, getting up in years, Ron and I in our late 40s and my husband in his early 50s, still agree that our generation had the best music. Just talking about music inspired me to possibly start yet another book, about all my music adventures from my teen years to now.

Next stop was to Artifacts Boutique, a unique clothing store in Belmar. We discovered this store a few years ago, one day by accident and I’ve been buying great pieces there ever since.

Today Artifacts was having a party for a special occasion. I got the email that after 20 years the store was getting two new women helping out and giving it a fresh new look. When we got to boutique, I asked the owner Liz if this meant she was still going to be there. She said “yes” but that she planned on retiring within two years.

It was a sad thing to hear. I’ve taken such a liking to Liz over the years. She spoiled me for shopping in other places. Liz is one of those rare people who can truly help you pick out an outfit or article of clothing. Liz will tell it like it is. She once commented to my husband that for a tiny girl, I sure had a big bust!

Liz has the most wonderful personality for running a boutique. She’s fun and funky and I just love her style. She always has a great story to tell too. She’s just so down-to-earth and great to be around.

When my husband and I first started going to Artifacts, we had just begun dating. Early on, we stopped in Artifacts when they were having a party during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was only our second time in the store, but Liz invited us to her home for corn beef and cabbage dinner! We politely declined, but wow, talk about old school hospitality!

We have so many great memories of that store. No disrespect to the new girls, but it will not be the same when Liz is no longer there.

After I picked out a few pieces of costume jewelry to add to my collection, we hit the beach. As I was walking on the beach, I almost started to become sad about Liz no longer being at Artifacts, which got me to thinking how everything goes in cycles in life. People come and go. Places change. Things change. Some stay the same but you out grow them.

But as I grow older, I am learning to go with the groove of it all — like the waves on the beach. You have no control over life, who comes and goes, who comes and goes, but you can enjoy all the beauty of it — like what the beach washes up to us, all these gorgeous little shells that make up our masterpiece of life.

I thought about how each part of this weekend was kind of like a visit to the ocean, seeing some friends I don’t see too often, but are in and out of my life — flowing like the tide. Then there is my husband, who is like the sun over looking the beach, strong and bright and always there. And then all the little shells, like the picture above, representing every little minute … all the little pleasures, every person that touches our lives, one by one that eventually made up the entire picture.

Because right now I’ve learned what the ocean was always trying to teach me … just go with the flow.

At the end of our walk on the beach, I no longer felt sad about Liz leaving the store, but happy about the fact that she was a part of the story of our long romance. If our life was a movie, Liz would have this amazing cameo appearance for having this store I shopped in with my husband, while he was still my boyfriend just a few short years ago that went very quickly!

What is to become of our movie next? Who will come into our life to fulfill it?

There will definitely be something or someone because the ocean always brings in something and takes something with her.