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Dream Board Manifest! One Year Later!

Published June 9, 2019 by Maryanne

Dream Board June 2018My Dream Board, June 9, 2018

One year ago today, I created this Dream Board. And it’s astonishing how things manifested.

First, look close, you will see that animals are a priority in my life. Since this dream board, my husband Dennis and I were able to save a feral cat, Bennie, and take care of him for the rest of his months. He was already sick when we took him in with FIV. But we loved him with all our hearts and gave him the best care we could. Five months later, he had to be put down. I collapsed in my husband’s arms. We were both heart-broken. Our vet told us, “He came to you to live out the rest of his life.”

One month later, we took in Sammy. I adopted him from St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter in Madison, New Jersey. Sammy was considered a senior cat, at age 9, but he’s tiny and very kitten-like. He’s a little doll and fits in beautifully with the family. He’s best buddies with our kitty Nicholas, who is now 6 (and came into our lives on this day three years ago!)

At the beginning of 2019, I created a giving journal, keeping track of all the places I give donations to each week. Many of them involve giving to animals, especially cat rescues. Do you see the word “FREE“? I’m always winning things–and I do mean ALWAYS! One of the things I won since creating the dream board was a certificate for a tattoo — I got a cat silhouette on my inner arm.

See “Power of Positive Speaking“? (Upper middle?) THAT is my next biggest goal, to become a motivational speaker. I joined Toastmasters right after my “Best Girlfriend Getaway” (see lower right corner) in October (to “Summit of Greatness” in Columbus, Ohio). Three days of nothing but motivational speakers, including Jay Shetty, Lewis Howes, Amy Purdy, Lindsey Stirling,  and so much more.

And greatness was indeed achieved! Just a few months after joining Toastmasters, I excelled winning “Best Speaker” for a speech on David Bowie. Then I auditioned to do a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero” which was based on my upcoming book, “Be Extra-Ordinary: 10 Ways To Become Your Own Hero.”

Unexpectedly, I’ve also made a few friends at Toastmasters, that I go to lunch with; and some who have come see me speak!

Which brings me to ….

Dreams, Friends, and Love are right at the top … I’m always counting my blessings for the amazing friends that come into my life; especially those that I grow closer to each year. That goes for my husband too. My BEST friend ever — the person I want to spend time with more than anyone else. I’m so blessed to have people in my life I can share my dreams with. People I can cheer on too and watch them grow. My tribe. My high-five tribe!

Which brings me to …

Do you see Bright Ideas? Oh, I have many! Many which didn’t work out — yet. But it’s so fun throwing them out there to friends who believe in you. Going for lunch meetings with minds of greatness. These are my PEERS! I can’t believe it. Sometimes I have to ask myself, “Am I dreaming?”

Do you see the rainbow? Just a few days ago, I saw the first FULL rainbow I ever saw in my life. People hate NJ because of all the rain. But I LOVE it! As a writer, I love spending time inside, writing during a storm. One night after a storm, around dusk, the time I love best. My husband and I were taking a walk — and there it was, a full rainbow! It took my breath away.

The other stuff you see in the dream board is more vague and personal. Some day I may speak about it, but most likely won’t. As honest and open as I am, there’s a side to me that’s insanely mysterious that people will never find out about.

That said, I’m thrilled that I’ve grown so much in my spiritual journey — and have a long way to go; which is why I am pro-aging and you’ll NEVER hear me longing for youth. I’m having such a beautiful love affair with my aging self!

LIFE IS AMAZING. I AM BLESSED! ❤

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

USA and Denmark Friends Unite Over Love for Animals

Published April 9, 2017 by Maryanne

Her photoIben (left) and Maryanne at Mundo Vegan in Montclair, NJ 

Yesterday was an incredibly special, happy day. I finally got to meet my lovely friend Iben, who is visiting the USA, from Denmark. And her 14-year-old son, Mads, who is wise beyond his years and an all-around great kid.

Two years ago, Iben and I bonded online, over our love for animals. Cecil the lion was just killed and, of course it bothered us both terribly.

This was the summer of 2015. A short time later, Iben told me she’d be visiting the USA in 2017, so we planned to set a date to meet.

Yesterday I met Iben and Mads for the first time at a train station in Cranford, New Jersey. They’ve been staying in NYC, enjoying their holiday.

After two days of rain, we lucked out with a warm, windy day, perfect spring day. First stop was Montclair. We first went to an indie bookstore, then enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Mundo Vegan: http://www.mundovegannj.com/

We couldn’t rave enough about how great the meal was. I had organic quinoa salad and pumpkin “cheese” cake for dessert (made with tofu, almond crust, pumpkin and cashews). Delicious!

Afterwards we did some shopping in Montclair, then went for a walk around the gorgeous Verona Park. There, we coincidentally started a conversation with a woman who was from Denmark, living in the United States for 60 years! What are the chances of that?! And her brother lives in the same town as Iben.

And why did we start talking to the woman to being with? Because she had two cute dogs! It’s always hard to resist stopping to meet dogs, especially in a park.

We all ended our beautiful day with a last stop to my house so Iben and Mads could meet my kitty Nicholas. Nicholas is definitely a “people kitty.” Nicholas loved my new friends and did his “Circus flips” for them (which my husband taught him).

I’ve been so high since yesterday, meeting two incredible people. Fresh air, good food, and great conversation. So much fun!

I wish Iben and Mads a beautiful, safe trip while they continue their visit in the USA. And thanks to Facebook, we’ll be in touch, ’til we meet again! ❤

Montclair - MadsMaryanne and Mads, Montclair, NJ 

Verona ParkVerona Park (Photo by Iben) 

Friends

Published November 20, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1613

With my friend Joan (left). 

“The greatest gift in life is friendship, and I have received it.” — Hubert H. Humphrey 

In New Jersey, when the weather is getting colder and the days shorter, there’s nothing like having a night out with great friends and our hubbies to warm the spirit.

It’s always nice to see our friends Joan and Peter, have a bite, some drinks, laughs and great conversation.

Make a play date with a friend today!

sam_1612

From left, Peter & Joan, Me & Dennis ❤ 

And on the 8th Day God Created Friendships!

Published August 15, 2016 by Maryanne

 

SAM_0898Joan, Me, Darlene 

Friends are such a blessing and I never take any of mine for granted.

August is my birthday month and this lunch date was the kick-off of many celebrations to come — including two other lunch dates with friends, celebrations with my husband, and celebrations with my husband’s family.

Over the weekend it was an honor to spend time with two of my closest friends Joan and Darlene. It was extra special because it was the first time they got to meet each other!

I met Darlene shortly after I started dating my husband, as she’s the long-term girlfriend of my husband’s cousin Tommy. Darlene and I hit it off immediately. Like two peas in a pod, we’re both into music, health, and animals. She’s like a sister to me. ❤

I’ve known Joan since high school. We can’t remember exactly how we met, but it seems like we’ve always been in each others lives. She made my teenage years incredible. We went to so many concerts and dance clubs together. One of my greatest “Joan” memories is dancing with her to “Hang On To Yourself” by David Bowie at the now defunct Aldo’s Hideaway, in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. That is our song. ❤

I love both of my ladies very much! ❤

This weekend Joan surprised me with a beautiful poem she wrote about our friendship. She gave me the A-OK to type it up into this blog.

ENJOY!

Dear Maryanne,

A friendship’s memories are like the waves of the ocean coming in and washing over you.

The thoughts of innocent times, dancing and listening to music from so long ago seem like a dream.

Yearning to spend every moment with each other was the most important thing.

Not knowing what life had in store allowed us to be free, excited and limitless.

If I could go back in time and be that 17-year-old girl again, I would want it to be with you.

Happy Blessed Birthday my Friend

Love, Joan

 

 

 

 

Girls Afternoon Out!

Published May 30, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7526Vegan deliciousness from Loving Hut, Matawan, New Jersey

It was super awesome spending an afternoon out with my friend Linda J., one of my favorite people! (Her boyfriend and my husband are great friends). Linda is vegan and I was dying for her to come to Loving Hut in Matawan, New Jersey (http://lovinghut.us/matawan_01/). The great thing about Loving Hut as opposed to other vegan restaurants is that it’s not just about fake meat, it’s about freshness!

We shared the spring rolls (above). The sauce was peanut mixed with Hoison. These wraps were so fabulous. They had mint leaves inside them!

We both had a kale salad mixed with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds and chickpea soup with straw mushrooms.

I had a raw vegan coconut macaroon for dessert.

After that we went shopping: health food store shopping, fine wine shopping and finally clothes shopping.

Then nothing beats walking into a store and hearing your favorite band HIM doing “The Sacrament”! ❤ With all the garbage you hear when you’re in stores, this was a super refreshing treat! I almost died of happiness overkill!!

I just love spending my Saturdays with girlfriends! It’s such a blessing!

SAM_5880From last summer: Left to right, Darlene, me and Linda

Nicola’s Ristorante, Totowa, New Jersey

Published May 3, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_4145Me and Janet

This Saturday, I enjoyed a wonderful meal with my friend Janet, who I knew since the early 1980s — we took a jazz dance class together and have been friends ever since. We’ve gone to many concerts and even vacationed together in Maine.

Nicolas Ristorante, 650 Union Blvd. is a fabulous place for a good meal.

We both started off with oysters.

SAM_4143Oysters!

SAM_4147Sea bass, asparagus and potatoes

I had a lovely sea bass dish in a fresh, lite tomato mushroom sauce with asparagus and potatoes.

Great atmosphere, cozy, and excellent service!

For more information, visit: http://nicolasristorante.net/index.htm

Keep Positive!

Published April 19, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_4011Me and my friend Sam Popp

Sam and I had an excellent vegan lunch today at Loving Hut in Matawan, New Jersey (http://lovinghut.us/matawan_01/)

Of course I wanted to document the occasion with a photograph. Sam noticed this amazing quote on the wall, so we decided to pose there. And it was so relevant because we’re both such happy, positive, determined people who believe in creating our own destiny!