All posts for the month May, 2013

Hyundai Gives $75,000 for Pediatric Cancer Patients in Paterson

Published May 31, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0961Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Wednesday morning I headed out to St. Joesph’s Hospital in Paterson to cover this amazing story:

The children moved me to tears! So inspirational!

And for the record, I’m proud to drive a Hyundai — 2009 Accent model, flip color blue/purple, yeah!

(And St. Joseph’s is the hospital I was born in! So great that they are doing such wonderful things!)

Healthy Raw Non-Dairy Dessert

Published May 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Raw Coconut Cream Ice Cream

I’ve always been a fan of raw “ice cream” (which isn’t really ice cream because it’s made without milk, making it a non-dairy vegan product). I love raw ice cream because it’s easier on the stomach and actually tastier. It just melts in your mouth. It’s low glycemic and has no artificial ingredients or preservatives. And because it’s raw (uncooked, unprocessed) you get all the enzymes — the full benefit of all the natural ingredients.

Today for the first time I tried the Coconut Secret brand. I went for the Madagascar Vanilla – and it’s heavenly!

I’ve been using Coconut Secret products for a couple years now. I love their coconut vinegar and their coconut amino acids (so much better than Bragg’s in my humble opinion).

I can’t wait to try the other flavors! It’s pricey, but I’m worth it!


Rhonda Denet

Published May 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Submitted photo. Rhonda Denet will sing at the Oliver Wolcott Library July 10Rhonda Denet

Last night my husband and I got the most amazing treat — right in our local library in Westfield — a performance by Rhonda Denet:

(And this is why you should support your local libraries – you never know what extreme talent will be there!)

I went not expecting much and was totally blown away.

Rhonda Denet took the audience on a musical journey covering Motown hits from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as telling the stories behind the songs. (Did you know that Farrah Fawcett inspired “Midnight Train to Georgia”?!)

Some of the songs included:

“Baby Love” (Supremes)

“Midnight Train to Georgia” (Gladys Knight)

“My Guy” (Mary Wells)

“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (Roberta Flack)

“Chain of Fools” (Aretha Franklin)

“At Last” (Etta James)

And here’s her performance of “At Last” from another show (not last night):

Rhonda Denet (“AT LAST”)

My article on Paterson International High School Debate Win

Published May 29, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0866The Winners! (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

I had a blast last week covering this event in East Side High School, Paterson.

Read the full story here:

Love Those Twilight Walks

Published May 23, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0891Dennis took this one!

On hot summer days, one looks forward to evening when it cools down and becomes more refreshing.

I love, last night, going for a super long walk in the woods with my husband, starting out at the end of the day, while the sun is still out and wearing sunglasses. Then it starts to cool, the sun goes down and there we have it — twilight!

In addition to seeing deer and birds and other little critters, we caught the almost-full moon in all her glory!

East Side High School, Paterson, New Jersey

Published May 21, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0869Photo by Me

Today was a thrill because I got to cover a story (to be posted at a future date) at East Side High School.

East Side High School is the famous high school that Principal Joe Clark taught at.

Who is Joe Clark, you may ask? Joe Clark is the person the 1989 film “Lean on Me” was based on. East Side High School was considered the toughest school in the 1980s and principal Joe Clark walked around with a baseball bat in his hand.

Last year I interviewed a few of the students who were at East Side while Joe Clark was there. You can read my article from April, 2012 here and hear how Joe Clark influenced students:

On the way over there I had to drive on the famous Market Street.

Market Street is famous (in my mind, at least) because that is where I, as a little girl in the 1960s, dropped my Bugs Bunny doll — in the middle of the street amongst traffic.

My grandmother ran into the street and stopped a bus so I could pick up my Bugs Bunny doll!

A few years ago, I found a similar Bugs Bunny doll in an antique shop and my husband got it for me. Who knows, it could be the same doll, right? I always wondered where that doll went! We moved a lot, so I’m sure it got lost along the way and now I have it again. (Proof that if something comes back to you — it’s yours!)

SAM_0871Also, love this old Barney’s furniture building, so I took a shot of it.

Infini-t Cafe, Princeton, New Jersey

Published May 19, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0844Tomato Chili Soup

SAM_0843Tomato/Cucumber on Whole Wheat with Chutney and side salad

My husband and I spent a few hours in Princeton record shopping and ate, for the first time at Infini-T Cafe, a green and vegetarian-option restaurant.

I’d love to share their website, but there is none!

Infini-t Cafe is basically a tea room with dozens of teas to choose from. I tried none since I already had my caffeine quota for the day and instead asked for water. I had their tomato soup (the chili pepper next to my sandwich was in my soup — which gave it an extra oomph!) and a cucumber/tomato sandwich with chutney on whole wheat. Both dishes were fantastic!

The place was lovely and cozy, reminding me of a 1990s place when coffee shops/tea places were all very poetic looking. Students from the college come here to study and go online, so it was nice and peaceful.

The people who worked there were very pleasant. It’s like another world in Princeton which is why it’s one of my favorite places in New Jersey — there are more nice people than not-so-nice.

If I didn’t have such a filling sandwich I would have loved to try the green tea cupcakes! Maybe next time!

SAM_0847Delicious meal, I am full!

Walking All Over Cancer!

Published May 19, 2013 by Maryanne


Yesterday I was so happy to be part of a most wonderful charity event, “Walk 4 Will.”

I walked four miles to help raise money to help a little 4-year-old boy Will DeGregorio, fight a rare adrenal cancer.

Over 600 people were there including people from my church and my pastor.

The walk was right in my hometown, right down the block, which was really cool and I did 16 laps around the track (equals four miles). The day before I had a little accident and hurt my back, so I was cranky and out of it, but it was so nice seeing the Pastor and bonding with some other church members I never got to speak to before.

Here is an article about Will (and a picture so you can see how adorable this kid is because this isn’t an article I wrote so I didn’t want to swipe the photo without permission):

And here is his Face Book page with more photos:

They had a nice band that played old rock ‘n’ roll hits like “The Letter.”

They had volunteers giving out fake tattoos (I got a red dinosaur on my hand!)

They had free treats: oranges, water, bagels and ice pops.

They had characters dressed as Wonder Woman and Batman.

They had raffle giveaways.

And best of all — last I spoke with someone at the event, I think they raised 3x the amount they anticipated!



Love for Gabriel Cosmetics Inc., ZuZu Luxe (all natural, no animal testing)

Published May 18, 2013 by Maryanne

zuzu luxeLuscious Zuzu Luxe Make-up! (Photo swiped from their website)

The other night I must have written 10 negative reviews on Yelp because good product and good service is such a rarity.

Well I finally have something positive to say about something — Gabriel Cosmetics Zuzu Luxe line: 100 percent natural ingredients, hypo-allergenic, vegan ingredients, doesn’t test on animals.

I’ve used these products for years and felt it was high time I contact them to let them know their product is loved and adored!

With “FAN MAIL” in the subject line — here is my letter to them:

Hello,I just want to say how extremely pleased I am with your Zuzu products (mascara, eye shadow, eye liner). Over the past few years I developed eye allergies and your products are the only ones I can wear with confidence that my eyes will feel perfectly GOOD!

I used to buy your products at Whole Foods, but they do not offer good customer service (bad management, nasty cashiers) so I stopped going there. I couldn’t find your products anywhere and tried other hypo-allergenic brands that don’t test on animals (some costing twice as much) and was so disappointed, as my eyes teared, burned, itched and hurt.

Then I found your website and ordered online. I got my mascara within days of ordering! I can’t express enough how pleased I am with not only your product, but your speed-of-lightning fast service!

God bless you and may you have many more years of continued business! Expect more online ordering from me soon!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

As a side note, I’d like to add, that when you order things online, you sometimes get little samples. They sent me a sample of lip gloss along with my order, which was really nice.

Below I’ve listed their website if you want to order some goodies (and have a good conscious that you are buying something that they didn’t have to put painful liquid drops in bunnies eyes to see if it works because that is just not necessary!)