Archives

All posts for the month November, 2020

Clothes Shopping During Covid

Published November 30, 2020 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano Mistretta

Clothes — it’s a girl’s thing. Perhaps shopping for clothes is too, but it’s never been for me. I’m one of these people who zeros in on something I like, try it on, and if it fits I’ll take it. If not, I move on. I hate disrobing in a dressing room once I’m out and about. It’s just an annoying thing to do. But how else will you know if you like an outfit if you don’t try it on, right? Usually my shopping trips were little side trips when I’d go with my husband somewhere on the weekend. A little indie dress shop here and there. That’s how I built my wardrobe.

A few months into Covid, I realized I haven’t had new clothes in awhile. Shopping on the internet for clothes was annoying because you couldn’t try them on. I sent a few things back, frustrated and defeated.

Then I discovered something beautiful–clothing box subscriptions!

This type of clothes shopping has been around for years, but I wasn’t aware of it. Once a month you get a box of clothes delivered to your doorstep. Try the clothes on and only keep what you love. What you don’t like, send back in a pre-paid bag/box. Simple as that! Prior to receiving your first order, you answer a series of quizzes to let your stylist know your sizes and taste. It’s a win/win. And if you don’t like the stylist you end up with, you can always try a new one!

I figured I’d give it a shot. I started with one, loved it so much I added another, and another! Now I’m getting three boxes of clothes per month–selected by my own personal stylist. Why couldn’t I find out about this sort of service sooner? Well, better late than never, right?

And now that retail stores are open again, many still don’t let you try on clothes. It’s okay though, I’m ecstatic with my boxes and the high end reputable companies they work with. My wardrobe is my happy spot; and I love clothes more than ever now.

In no particular order, here are my top two favorite clothing box subscription companies and why they should be YOUR favorite too:

  1. Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix was the very first subscription company I tried. What I like about them is they are simple with only five items to try each month. They also have shoes/boots. They are the one company that is most true to the date they say they will send the box. On their website, you have an account section where you can pin clothing inspiration for your stylist to see. You can pin photos of yourself or others who inspire you. Quizzes come up almost daily where you can answer the question: Is this your style? My favorite companies they use include: Lush, Marc New York, Democracy, and LUQ. If you want to give Stitch Fix a try, please use my link and I’ll get a $25 referral fee and you’ll get some kick ass karma!: https://www.stitchfix.com/invite/z2g4w7mfm7?sod=w&som=c
  2. Wantable. I love my stylist Valerie at Wantable. Each month she picks great stuff for me. She really gets me and is personable. Wantable sends seven items each month. What’s fantastic about Wantable is their stream. Using their stream you can decline items or put them on your wish list. Valerie is awesome snagging some great picks from my wish list each month, then adding some of her choices, which are equally as great, if not greater! Each month you get an “edit” included themed edits such as “Making You Shine” for the holidays. They are so much fun! Companies they use that I love include: Elegant Essence and Z Supply. If you’d like to try Wantable, let me know your email and I’ll put you on the list. I’ll get a $25 referral fee and you’ll get some kick ass karma!

Who I Don’t Recommend. If I were you, or me, or anyone else, I would not use Nordstrom Trunk. I scored three great items from them and sent the rest back, yet they got mixed up and said I sent something back which I kept and said I kept something which I sent back. When I corrected them, they took an extra $55 from my bank account and never paid me back. I researched and saw many others having a similar issue. Had this happened down the road, I’d forgive them but on my first box, I am hesitant to give them another chance. Plus, I am out $55 either way. Not cool!

I liked Daily Look for awhile, but their customer service is the pits. They also take a larger styling fee ($40) and are always late getting the boxes to you. I just canceled my subscription with Daily Look.

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

How Not to Lose Friends Over Politics

Published November 16, 2020 by Maryanne

A very long time ago Emily Post, a self appointed arbiter of etiquette said never to discuss politics or religion over dinner. Sounds great to me. Sad, it’s a rare thing to have dinner with people anymore. Even before Covid, people stopped reaching out to each other. Why? You guessed — the internet! Why call a friend when the internet offers a platform for free-speech via so many mediums: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and of course blogs. Like Andy Warhol once said, 15 minutes of fame baby … 15 minutes of fame!

Of course these platforms have a purpose. Many of us using them are selling books, music, art, and marketing services. With these tools, an old writer like myself covers more ground then back in the day when I used to submit a query in a manila envelope. So, I’m all for social media.

The problem is, when people abuse social media. I mean, freedom of speech and all that, of course. If you have your own page, feel free to spew all the political hate you want; your views are none of my concern. I don’t have to agree with you. I don’t have to look at your platform. Simple as that.

However, there’s a bridge on social media people shamelessly cross that takes them from “Freedom of Speech” to “Freedom to Be a Freakin’ Asshole” in one quick step. That’s when someone goes to a platform of a different mindset than their own to purge their emotional vomit. In other words, a troll.

That’s a sad lack of self-control. Calling people “stupid” and telling them to “wake up” just because they are not of the same mindset you are.

In my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” I speak about the odd friendship of Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The famously conservative Scalia opposed the court’s recognition of gay and lesbian rights. Meanwhile, the liberal-leaning Ginsburg was the first justice to preside over a same-sex marriage. Their views couldn’t have been more different. Despite their oppossing philosophies, Scalia and Ginsburg established a highly bonded friendship. They shared a love of the law and opera, made each other laugh, and even traveled to India together.

Amazing, right? Not really. Little me also has friends who believe different than I do. We all get along GREAT! Why? BECAUSE WE DON’T FIGHT OVER POLITICS!

Well, there was that one friend…

She couldn’t keep her political agenda out of my face. I listened to her views and took her seriously, but she never gave me an inch. She continued to push her views in my face.

I finally did the right thing. I let the friendship go. It’s just not a friendship if one person is doing all the bitching (her) and the other one is doing all the listening (me). And I got exhausted telling her, “Please do not put your political agendas in the comment section of my business pages.”

I’m sad, but I feel a big weight has been lifted. Now perhaps I can inspire just one person to not make the same mistake she did. I offer the following tips on How Not To Lose Friends Over Politics. It actually works with me and my other friends who have opposing views.

Cheers to differences and getting along!

  1. DON’T TALK ABOUT POLITICS. That’s the BEST way to handle it. To be friends, you don’t have to have the same political views. I said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times. There are tons of other things great friends can bond over: music, food, trips, books, pets, travel, photography, wine-making, creativity, work, children, dreams, to name a few.
  2. IF YOU MUST ‘GO THERE’ DISCUSS DON’T DEBATE. Believe it or not, I’ve swayed a few people to my side of thinking — just a little bit — by respectful discussions over a glass of wine. Did I feel like I won? No, even better, I felt respected. It made me love and appreciate these friends more than I did before. Perhaps you can do the same. It’s not hard taking a deep breath and listening. If the conversation gets too heated you can always change the subject to something else. It’s that simple.
  3. ABSOLUTELY NO NAME CALLING! Don’t call someone “stupid” or demand they “wake up” because they think different than you. Name calling is tacky. It doesn’t make you look superior. It makes you look like an asshole. What are you 3-years-old? Talk to all people with love and respect, because if you don’t you may lose a good person in your life.

Did you ever lose a friend over politics? Share your views below.

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

In Support of Younger Women

Published November 12, 2020 by Maryanne
Photo by Vasile Stancu on Unsplash
Jennifer Bunda
Shanon Pantano

The other day I wrote about what a great time I had at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. Since I’m not into gambling, it’s not very often I visit AC. Nevertheless, I like to pop in from time to time over the years. It’s a cool city with a great history lesson behind it. It’s also the city that inspired the Monopoly board game. Over the years I went with family, friends, and even co-workers when I still did the 9 to 5 thing. It is a legendary place to be.

While thinking about my previous AC trips, I remembered the first time I went with my family. I was just 19 and was able to gamble. From the get-go I realized gambling wasn’t my thing, but it was fun visiting the different themed casinos and walking on the boardwalk. And that first time, I had a weird experience in the ladies room.

I was wearing a romper. Yes, the rompers young women wear today also had a brief day in the sun in the 1980s. I was looking in the mirror brushing my hair as most women do.

A much older woman was looking at me. She said, in a snippy mocking tone, “Adorable! Adorable! Very cute!” and then walked away.

I couldn’t believe it. She shamed me for looking good! And for a split second I felt guilty about it. Maybe I should have worn something more conservative? But weren’t we in a city, where anything goes? And, hey, rompers were in-style. And why shouldn’t I be brushing my hair.

I was obsessing over a comment from a stranger. Then I stopped myself from thinking about it. From that moment on, I promised myself that when I got old I would never make a young woman feel bad about her looks.

And I kept that promise.

I’m the first to tell a young girl how cute she looks, sincerely, not mockingly like the lady did to me. I’m happy to support my girlfriends’ daughters and/or nieces and write on Facebook they are beautiful. I tell young female tellers at the bank how stylish they are. And I’ll be the first to tell a young stranger I like her pink hair or cute shoes.

Young ladies are pretty, and many of them are insecure. If you compliment them, they may respond shyly or not say anything at all. But mark my word, I’m positive they appreciate the compliment. I always did.

No matter what age we are it’s important for women to have each other’s backs. Let’s not undermine each other. Let’s celebrate our unique beauty, our differences, our accomplishments, and our creativity.

Women supporting women is a beautiful thing, especially when it’s us older ones taking a younger one under our wings and encouraging her to fly!

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid).

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Atlantic City, NJ

Published November 10, 2020 by Maryanne

NJ Musicians, promoting one of my favs, Debbie Harry

My husband and I recently stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City. It was so cool I had to give them a big shout out via a blog.

First of all, I’d like to point out that my husband and I are diehard music fans, not “Greatest Hits” types, nor music streaming types. We like to have the actual albums/CDs/tapes. (And I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I wonder how many people had Cher’s “The Way of Love” single who know the flip side “Don’t Put It On Me” was just as great? I was always about both the A-sides and the B-sides.

That said, I went expecting nothing more than a fab time with my husband. We’re a great couple who make our own fun. As we were making our way to our room (we got lost–this place is huge!) I heard Blondie music. The song “X-Offender” which was not a big hit. I was shocked, and immediately got silly and started singing. Followed by that I heard Interpol and Generation X. Bands you don’t hear too often.

I’ve been to the Hard Rock in NYC and Atlanta, and have seen so much rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, but what got me the most excited was a letter Buddy Holly wrote to his family while he was on the road, before he hit it big.

Here, you can also see Elvis’ Rolls Royce, Joan Jett’s hand-written lyrics to “Bad Reputation,” costumes worn on stage from rock and pop stars including Ann and Nancy Wilson, Prince, The Beatles, and Cher, to name a few. There’s also guitars, footwear, and other artifacts. Not to mention lots of shopping. (A side note, the Hard Rock clothing and jewelry line is incredible. Shirts/sweaters/hoodies are form-fitting, cozy, and durable. Jewelry is also well-made).

In the Cafe itself, the food was good. The only issue I had was they were playing more sports videos than music videos. It is the Hard Rock Cafe, right? But that didn’t stop my husband and I from having fun.

There’s also a pool and spa. The room we had offered a super view of the city and water. But most impressive about the room is that they use soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion from a company that doesn’t test on animals! I always bring my own stuff because I’m a cruelty-free supporter, so imagine how thrilled I was to see that!

The Hard Rock Hotel took great precautions due to Covid19. As you entered, your temperature was shown on a screen. There are social distancing Beatles “records” painted on the floor situated 6 feet apart. People stood on them while they waited on lines for restaurants and cafes.

Stores were careful too. You weren’t able to try stuff on, which made clothes shopping impossible. That was the only drawback.

I’m sure people want to know about gambling. I’m not a fan. Not for any moral reason, it just doesn’t amuse me. But, yes, gambling was in full swing.

The hotel staff was the best ever. They truly give the high hospitality. Everyone was so friendly and efficient. Service dogs are allowed inside the hotel and casino.

I highly recommend Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City.

For more information, visit: https://www.hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com/

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique