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All posts for the month February, 2016

Rain at NJPAC, Newark

Published February 26, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9688Rain (photo by Mistretta)

It was so awesome going to see Rain (Beatles Tribute) at the fabulous NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey.

Actually I won tickets!

Before I talk about the show, I want to give a big shout out to NJPAC. Everyone who works there is so classy and friendly. It’s a gorgeous theater with parking very close by.

Rain (http://www.raintribute.com/) was amazing and have been around for a very long time. While it’s great to hear Beatles songs no matter what band or tribute band performs them, it’s really cool that Rain performs in costume and takes you, in order, on a trip to the Beatles career.

Their light show was incredible, especially in the end for “Let it Be” the lights were made to look like stained glass in a cathedral. The covered a few songs from each era of the Beatles career. My favorites were “Across the Universe” and “Let it Be.” Other hits included “She Loves You,” “Help,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (during a tribute to George Harrison as it was his birthday yesterday), “Blackbird,” and as a finale “Give Peace a Chance.”

My favorite moment of the evening was “Eleanor Rigby” — mainly because I was so super impressed how this band did it bare bones with the basic guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. I’ve seen another band do the song with strings (which of course is phenomenal), so in my head I was expecting strings and when I didn’t hear them it was just as good without. It’s the little things, right? And that’s the greatness of the legendary Beatles, you can listen to their songs in so many ways and they never cease to fascinate.

The crowd was in great spirits. It was one of the rare shows, in this day and age, that people in the audience actually talked to us. An all around great night!

SAM_9691Off the hook lighting for “Let it Be”

SAM_9674Looking forward to the show!

SAM_9663My husband, a huge Beatles fan loved the show too!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon in paperback only: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

“Going Going Gone: What the Next Generation Won’t Remember” at Florham Park Senior Center

Published February 24, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_5528Do you remember cassettes, 8-tracks, bubble gum cards, drive-in speakers?

I was thrilled to return to the Florham Park Senior Center today to present my lecture “Going Going Gone: What the Next Generation Won’t Remember.”

Here is the synopsis for the program:

Since the year 2000, we’ve gained iPhones, GPSs, Twitter, Facebook and many other services and devices.

However, we’ve also lost some things that we’ve grown up with. In “Going Going Gone” Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta will take a walk down memory lane and talk about products that are either on their way out the door, or absolutely obsolete.

Some may actually surprise you!

Items included are: VHS video tapes, phone booths (and making phone calls in general!), travel agents, bookstores, newspapers and classified ads, wristwatches, maps, dial-up internet, encyclopedias, CDs, landline phones, film cameras, yellow pages and address books, and hand written letters.

Which of these items do you miss?

Christiano-Mistretta will also jolt your memory remembering some cool products of yesteryear such as the typewriter, the record player and Polaroid cameras.

Come share your views in this interactive lecture! Audience participation is greatly encouraged.

SAM_9655Very cool sign promoting my program!

Today was extra special because Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi were there. I helped them write and publish their book, “200 Letters, 62 Years, and a War,” which is about Domenic’s time in the Korean War and the 200 love letters he wrote to Antoinette while she waited for his return. At the time the book was written, they celebrated their 62nd anniversary.

I was very touched by their card and gift they gave me today.

And as always, I love meeting the seniors and was happy to be part of their meeting and pizza party today!

Thanks so much to director Olga!

SAM_9653Maryanne and senior director Olga

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a ghost writer and public speaker. For more information, visit her website at: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

Get White Teeth Naturally, at Any Age

Published February 23, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9630Age 52

A few days ago I updated my Facebook profile page with this photograph I took over the weekend. A couple friends complimented my white teeth, so I thought I’d share my secret.

Earlier this year I started a practice called “oil pulling.” You take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes. That seemed a bit “much” for me, so I changed the rules a bit. I use less than a teaspoon of coconut oil and swish for 10 to 15 minutes instead of the full 20.

The benefits of doing this is to get rid of bacteria in your mouth, whiten teeth, prevent gum disease, and even prevent heart disease! Just Google “oil pulling” and see for yourself.

Note, I always brush my teeth afterwards. Some people say that you don’t have to, but I do.

Now, to up the anti, I started putting a drop of Thieves Young Living Oil into the coconut oil. This is what gives my smile that “just polished” look. Even after a meal my teeth still look and feel fresh.

This is a much better option than getting your teeth chemically whitened. It’s healthier and cheaper!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the former editor of NJ Health & Fitness and “Here’s to Your Health” columnist which appeared in The Patch. She now gives lectures about health at various libraries and assisted living facilities. She’s also a Young Living Oil distributor and will come to your home for a free demo.

Contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

The Flowers of Romance

Published February 9, 2016 by Maryanne

valentines

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and like every year, here come the haters ruining it for the rest of us with their anti-Valentine’s Day rants.

So, once again, I say, get over yourselves, Dear Joy Killers.

Yeah, we don’t need a special holiday to dictate how we feel, but don’t forget St. Valentine was a cool saint, number one, and number two, whenever a whole slew of people are on the same vibe/wavelength, it promotes incredible energy from the universe. So if couples are getting engaged, married or just celebrating their first Valentine’s Day together, it’s a euphoric thrill to bask on that cool/crazy energy. Valentine’s Day isn’t until Sunday, but I’m feeling the groove already.

But haters prevail. Just as we flipped the calendar to read “February” — and so began the “me-me-me” tirades.

As if women aren’t ungrateful enough for the kind things their boyfriends/husbands will do for them, now the latest in Valentine’s hating is the newest generation of feminists dissing on flowers.

And so they moan:

“They’re too expensive.”

“They die.”

“I’d rather have a dinosaur bouquet.” (An ugly dust collector made of polyester — toxic for the environment. And at $39.99, you can definitely get a cheaper flower bouquet).

Then, the most ridiculous reason of all — “Giving flowers means he’s apologizing for doing something bad.”

Give me a break! Just because giving flowers could be a beautiful peace treaty, don’t insult the intelligence and kindness of a good man who gives flowers “just because.”

Just a mere 13 years ago I was still single (and still working in an office) and my boyfriend at the time unexpectedly sent a bouquet to my office — for no reason at all. I was thrilled.

A co-worker saw them and commented, “Was he bad?”

I didn’t know what she meant by that. I thought she was making an S&M reference, so I said, “yeah” and winked at her. Not realizing, at the time, she was making a catty remark; that a guy wouldn’t do such a nice thing. Then it dawned on me later. I could never look that woman in the eye again. That kind of negativity towards men is not for me.

I feel so sorry for those types of women — the man haters, the feminists, and the distrusting who always think a nice gesture has an an ulterior motive. These women will never be happy in the romance department. And the sad thing is, I’m sure many of them are hooked up with poor slobs who will never be appreciated; the kind of guys who can’t do enough for them.

But, I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl who loves flowers! My husband and I often give each other flowers “just because.” They’re pretty. They make the house smell nice. And, yes, they die, but that’s symbolic of the circle of life.

Last fall I treated myself and put a bouquet of flowers in my home office. When they dried out, I left them because they still looked pretty. Then my husband surprised me with new “winter style” bouquet. And then after that a brighter one, as we were enjoying a very mild New Jersey winter so the bright flowers looked absolutely gorgeous as the sun beat through the window.

After four years of marriage, and 10 years together, I am still madly in love with my husband; and incredibly happy for everyone around me who is madly in love with their significant others. (And appreciates old fashioned romantic gestures). ❤

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” (where the lead character, Beck, is a GREAT GUY!) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Pear Tree’s “Learn & Listen” Series Now Has Bowie & Lennon Tributes!

Published February 5, 2016 by Maryanne
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Musician, Keith Beck

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta, of Pear Tree Enterprises (https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/) is proud to add two new programs to the “Learn and Listen” series, available to libraries, senior centers, assisted living facilities, rotary clubs, Jewish Community Centers, etc.

Now on board with Pear Tree, Keith Beck brings his talent to the stage featuring the music of John Lennon and David Bowie.

“Learn and Listen: The Life and Music of John Lennon” and “Learn and Listen: The Life and Music of David Bowie” are two separate one-hour presentations, with Maryanne Mistretta sharing the biography of the the artists, followed by a half hour of acoustic music, featuring Keith Beck (http://www.zigmanbird.com/music) performing his interpretations of the music of John Lennon and David Bowie.

UPCOMING DATES!

Check out this amazing new addition to the Pear Tree “Learn & Listen” repertoire at The Boonton Library, 621 Main St., Boonton, New Jersey, on Friday, May 6, 2016, 6:30 p.m. (“The Life and Music of John Lennon”) and Friday, June 3, 2016 p.m. (“The Life and Music of David Bowie”). Both shows are outdoors! Thanks so much to Stephanie Gableman for having this fab series for the second year in a row.

Those who came to The Boonton Library last year will fondly remember what a blast we had presenting “The Life and Music of Elvis Presley” featuring Ruben Castillo (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/pear-tree-presents-elvis-show-at-boonton-library/)

Don’t miss out on the fun! Book us today!

The “Learn & Listen” series features the following acts: David Bowie, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra.

To find out more dates, please follow Pear Tree at:  https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

Pear Tree Enterprises is updated monthly — so mark your calendars! All events are FREE!

For rates and availability, please contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: 908-276-1514 during business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

 

Your Own Personal Caring Ministry

Published February 3, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9489Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

This morning in my moment of prayer, I was looking back to a few years ago when I spent more time at church. I really wanted to be a part of something special, for God, and was trying to get involved in everything. I voluntarily wrote for their newsletter. I participated in activities. And I even volunteered to be on the Caring Ministry, where I’d go to the homes of those who were bedridden and give them communion.

Then things just didn’t work out. No one’s fault, but that’s just how life happens. New people came on board. I wasn’t asked to write anymore. The woman who was supposed to train me for the Caring Ministry wasn’t available to train when I was available.

So, time went on … a lot of time. Then one of my favorite people in the church passed away and I couldn’t bring myself to go back as often as I once did. It was too painful. I remember driving to church, then feeling so uncomfortable that I turned around and came right back home.

While some die-hard Christians may suggest Satan was keeping me out of church; I have to disagree. There’s a saying, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” I was always of the mindset that when something is right for you, you know it. And what has been right for me was going to church less often, because I felt so much more comfortable (and right with God) by practicing at home — every single morning. I’ve been reading the Bible more and working consciously on my well-being by praying for opportunities to help others.

Then it dawned on me … God is using me, via my business. I’m a full-time, self-employed author and journalist. I am also a ghost writer and book editor. I’ve helped countless people get their books written and published. I make dreams come true — and everyone needs a dream.

Another way I make a living is by public speaking. Two years ago, I started a library series called “Learn and Listen.” I present a half-hour biography on a famous musician, followed by live entertainment by local musicians. Through this series, I am helping to employ musicians — excellent musicians who are top of the line. Being a musician is a tough, competitive business and via this series, I am helping the ones I employ get more work. I’ve also helped an artist friend get work when I created a children’s recycling series. Getting work for people and helping them is what I do best, so that’s the way God uses me. I’m excellent at booking gigs, follow-up calls, organizing dates, and so on … That’s what I’m good at.

But what I’m not so good at …

Though I’m a very good listener, I can’t listen to people’s problems without feeling drained and depressed myself. Some people have the gift of resolving other people’s problems by listening to them complain. I do not have that gift. Nor do I have the gift of singing in a choir. Or counting money for a church. Or organizing big events. These are talents other people are so much better at.

While I was more than willing to let the church dictate how God would use me, I feel God went directly to me. Because these are the people who relate to me — the creative types, the musicians, the writers, the artists …

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop and I’ve been so incredibly busy these days; business is the best it’s ever been. Today is the first day I was able to take a breather and write a blog in a over a week. And to think, I used to write in my blog every single day — sometimes twice a day.

So when I take such joy in my career, I’m also taking joy in the fact that it’s not just about me. We’re all part of this great big chain connecting each other, working together, inspiring, and forging ahead, using our God given talents. Every day is beautiful and meaningful.

God knows where to place us. You’ll know when He’s there because, while it may not always be easy, you’ll just have that gut feeling of “This is where I belong … and who I belong with.” And you will feel God’s presence.

What is your Caring Ministry? Share your stories! Post them here, or email me directly. 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Her “Learn & Listen” series is available to libraries, churches, assisted living facilities, Jewish Community Centers, Rotary Clubs, and senior centers. “Learn & Listen” features the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, John Lennon, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.