westfield new jersey

All posts tagged westfield new jersey

2019 – Year in Review!

Published December 20, 2019 by Maryanne

Hustle2019 — The Hustle was real! 

Wow, when I look back at 2019, I have a huge smile on my face! I mean, I am glowing! It was filled with lots of love and stellar career moments. I am forever grateful that it happened. Below, I share just some of the highlights–after all, a girl’s gotta be private about some things!

January 2019 

My year started off on the most amazing note. I was only in Toastmasters a few months and I won “Best Speaker” for my deliverance of a David Bowie Tribute I wrote, which I gave on January 10, 2019 — three years after his sad death.

February 2019 

This was the only month of the year that sucked. We had to put down our beloved Bennie cat. He was a feral who was only 3-years-old. We took him in the summer of 2018. The vet checked him out and we were told he had FIV and wouldn’t live long. Sure enough, a few months later he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It broke our hearts; my husband and I were devastated to lose such a sweet, loving cat.

Shortly afterwards, a few friends passed away too. It was a bad, bad month for so many.

SAM_3266 (1)Bennie Hemingway, Rest in Peace little angel

March 2019 

It’s always a blessing to have great friends around to cheer you up!

Jayne - NYC Cher ShowMaryanne and Jayne (aka Romy & Michele) in NYC! 

April 2019

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club! Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

May 2019

During the month of May, my husband and I welcomed our newest family member, Sammy! I adopted him from St. Hubert’s in Madison, New Jersey. Sammy is 9-years-old and he spent most of his life in a shelter. We are honored to have him in our family, he’s a perfect little angel and we love him to pieces!

DSCF3932Sammy, our dear little angel! 

May was also significant because I was extremely honored to present my workshop “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83 Spring Conference. It was an excellent turn out and extremely well received. (Note, The “Be Your Own Hero” workshop was based on my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” which was published later in the year by KiCam). 

DSCF3631Be Your Own Hero

June 2019 

June was super cool because my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” became available on audio! You can get all versions here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

July 2019 

My husband and I were thrilled to take some much needed private down-time, both by ourselves and with very dear friends. Hashtag GRATEFUL!

Facetune (4)Dennis and Maryanne (Photo by Jayne DiGregorio) 

August 2019

August is my birthday month. And I do mean “month” because it takes a whole month and then some to get together with everyone who is important to me. So, I say to all of you, Thank you for the LOVE!

DSCF4045I love you! 

September 2019 

Once again, getting away and spending time with our super awesome friends! Hashtag HAPPINESS!

DSCF4128 Dennis and Maryanne

October 2019 

This month was a double whammy of greatness! If it wasn’t cool enough that my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227) was released, my fictional book, “Love Cats” which was out of print, got picked up by Pink Flamingo Media! (https://www.pinkflamingo.com/). So look forward to a second printing of “Love Cats” in 2020!

Love Cats front and back cover

First printing of “Love Cats” now out of print. Second edition to be published in 2020 by Pink Flamingo Media!! 

During the month of October, I completed writing the play, “Ain’t Life a Beach” for actor, Jesse Walker! It will be presented during the summer of 2020. Jesse Walker was also the first person to interview me to promote “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero.” Check out the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7_O5ZdsVNo

November 2019 

I was honored to perform my poetry at Neighborhood House Association. “All About Eve” was well received! You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyLorsfQig4

December 2019

While many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s actually a wind-down time for me. I stay at home, sipping keto cocoa drinks and working on my next projects. I have some great ideas in the works…as well as some super cool surprises for 2020 which involve writing, speaking, and poetry!

I wish everyone a very happy, blessed, and prosperous 2020! 

BEST OF 2019

My husband and I do so much and see so much, it’s hard to keep up. I used to write about all the shows we saw in this blog, but it’s time-consuming especially when I also keep private journals. However, the following are truly stand-outs for 2019.

BEST NEW ARTIST – SIERRA FERRELL

Well, I’ve been picking winners since I was a little girl. I’d watch the Miss America contest with my grandmother and right from the beginning I’d say who was going to win. When I accidentally came across the music of young artist, Sierra Ferrell, my mind was blown. She is truly the bomb! (Do people still say that? Well I do!)

When I first heard her song “Jeremiah” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEYSUpPirJM) I knew she was something special. I spent two hours watching her videos on You Tube (the perks of being self-employed). And, by chance, she happened to be performing, just an hour away from us in upstate New York.

For a mere $10, it was a kick ass show. I got to meet Sierra too, and she’s a little sweetheart. The punchline is, two weeks later, she was signed to Rounder Records! Hell, yeah! Now we can look forward to some new music from her in 2020.

DSCF3957Sierra Ferrell and Maryanne 

BEST NEW ARTIST RUNNER UP – BILLIE EILISH 

Not that I’m going to run out and buy tickets to her show … but then again, never say never … I do have her CDs. Wow, I’m just so impressed with her cool, catchy, innovative, strong-spirited songs. I love Billie Eilish! Thank you for existing!

BEST LIVE SHOW – PETER MURPHY, (le) Poisson Rouge, NYC

Last August Peter Murphy did a ton of shows, performing full solo albums and a few Bowie tributes. I had tickets to see the “Deep” show (and one of the David Bowie tributes, but it was canceled because Murphy had a heart attack — he’s okay now and performing again). Anyway “Deep” was one of my favorite Murphy albums and to see it performed live was nothing short of euphoric. My friend Jayne and I got close to the front and Mr. Murphy was so on the money; always a class act entertainer. As an encore, he did “His Circle and Hers Meet” from “Love Hysteria” — and wow, that just blew me over the top! This was truly the show of the year! I was so bummed that the Bowie tribute was canceled, but a taste of Murphy is better than none at all!

BEST PLAY – THE CHER SHOW BROADWAY

I’m so glad I caught this earlier this year because it ended this summer. It was very cool. There were three Chers (my favorite vocal — and look — was the young Cher, Babe), a Sonny, and even a Greg Allman. It was a fun-filled musical time-line of Cher’s life.

BEST MOVIE – “BLINDED BY THE LIGHT”

I like Bruce Springsteen, but having just one CD, I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But this movie totally spoke to me because it was about a writer who was inspired by music. (I’ve often been judged by  intellectual types who shunned me for being a writer inspired by music not necessarily other writers, so watching this movie it was like, “Ha-ha, fuck you!”)

There were so many moments I related to, especially the frustrations and ripping up your own work and throwing it out the window.

In the movie, there’s a scene where the main character’s father rips up his Bruce Springsteen tickets. Parents in my generation, Generation X, rarely understood their kid’s dreams. Generation gaps were huge and parents didn’t make an effort to know their kids like young parents today do.

I still cringe when I look back at the day my mother got mad at me, jumped on my bed, and tore all my Queen posters off the walls. Queen was the band that inspired me to write and be more creative.

So, this movie isn’t just for Bruce fans, it’s for any Generation Xer who had communication problems with their parents.

Rest in Peace

February was just horrible with one death after another. Our dear Bennie cat, our dear friend Daniel Popp, and WFMU radio icon, X-Ray Burns. Whew, it was a terrible, terrible month. May all these young souls rest in peace.

And of course we lose so many celebrities throughout the year, but the one that hit the worst was Ric Ocasek, who died on September 15. I was a Cars fan when I was just 15 and had their first album. I never saw them perform live, but my husband and I went to one of his art gallery shows.  As we were leaving, my husband said, “Wave to him.” We did, and he smiled and waved back. God bless his soul, he was an original.

DSCF3060RIP, Ric Ocasek (Photo courtesy of Maryanne and Dennis Mistretta)

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. 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: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

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

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Colour is Autumn

Published November 2, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9136My husband’s PT Cruiser from restaurant window

Energized, alive, and ecstatic!

Here in New Jersey, we are enjoying the best autumn we’ve had in ages. The weather has been absolutely the best it’s been in a long time. Days are warm, yet crisp, ranging between 50 and 70 degrees. And, yesterday, the day after Halloween, so many houses and venues still had decorations up, so my husband and I basked in the Halloween joy of the season!

SAM_9142Waiting for my food at Beana’s

Still celebrating the Halloween weekend and approaching Cinco De Mayo, it seemed like a perfect time to grab a Mexican meal. We pigged out at Beana’s in Rahway (http://www.beanasmexicanrestaurant.com/). I had shrimp fajitas with a side of guacamole. Sitting across from me is my handsome husband, who doesn’t like having his pictures on the internet, but take my word for it, he’s super! ❤

SAM_9130Caldwell Chiropractic

We LOVE this clever chiropractic advertisement! But luckily since I started using Young Living Oils over a year ago, I haven’t the need to see a chiropractor or an acupuncturist! At 52 I have the back of a 20-something! If I sleep wrong, I just mix a bit of Pan Away with some coconut oil and I am good to go! That can be YOU! Email me and I’ll hook you up: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

SAM_9134Pumpkins!

Whether they’re real or fake, pumpkins are just the cutest part of the season. Last night my husband and I went to a “Pumpkin Sail” (yes, a pumpkin sail, not sale!) Children carve pumpkins then send them down the lake on a platform with a votive candle inside. It was so pretty watching them float along the river, heading down to the little falls.

And, finally, in Halloween spirit, we visited the house of The Watcher in Westfield, New Jersey.

If you Google, “The Watcher, Westfield, New Jersey” you’ll come up with a crazy story about a phantom watcher who writes anonymous notes to residents. The most recent residents were terrified and are suing the people who sold them the home because they weren’t told about what’s been happening at this house for ages.

My husband was brave enough to go up to the doorstep. I stayed behind. From where I stood it looked like the mailbox was full of mail. The vibe was creepy. Not a soul to be seen and an empty driveway. However, the homes around The Watcher house were full of life, lights on, Halloween decorations and cars in the driveways.

When my husband reached the doorway, the floor of the porch creaked!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

 

Charles Addams House

Published November 1, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9076411 Elm Street, Westfield, New Jersey

On Halloween my neighboring towns of Westfield and Cranford really go all out with decorations, so my husband and I love to walk around the towns with our kitty, Derick (who is now 19!) This year we dressed Derick up as Count Cat-ula; he wore a long black cape. He just loves the attention from both adults and children. He even gets candy (and his “Mommy” gets to eat it!)

It wouldn’t be Halloween unless we stopped at the Addams Family house, where Charles Addams drew his inspiration from the cartoon: 411 Elm St.

And on 522 Elm St. was the modest two-family home that Addams grew up in.

SAM_9084522 Elm Street

After trick or treating with Derick, my husband and I dropped the kitty back at home and headed out again to take in more of the Halloween vibe in downtown Cranford and got a drink at the Cranford Hotel.

SAM_9105Downtown Cranford

Now my favorite holiday is done, until next year. But we’ll keep our decorations up until almost Thanksgiving! Nothing is cooler than the Halloween stuff, so I’ll soak up the black cats, pumpkins and ghosts as much as I can!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513)

“Eat Well for the Holidays” at Westfield Library

Published December 18, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_6640Maryanne and librarian, Jennifer

Thanks to Jennifer and Westfield Library for having me present “Eat Well for the Holidays.”

I spoke about little “tricks” you can do to stay motivated during the holiday season as well as how to deal with “food pushers.”

Afterward, I served paleo, gluten free, grain free, sugar free zucchini bread from The Squirrel and The Bee  in Short Hills, NJ (http://thesquirrelandbee.com/).

For a list of all my lectures (available to libraries, JCC groups, seniors, health clubs, schools, etc.) please visit me at: www.peartreeenterprises.com

Book Reading/Signing at Gallery U, Westfield, New Jersey

Published April 24, 2014 by Maryanne

Gallery UMe, my husband Dennis, my friend Mair and her husband Paul

I had an amazing time reading from my book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” at Gallery U in Westfield, NJ. Another great turn out and sold many books!

“On the Guest List” is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

SAM_4073Me and poet/author, Juditha Dowd

SAM_4074Mair, me and my music client, Carol Erickson

SAM_4075Juditha Dowd

SAM_4076Dennis, me and Paul

SAM_4077Dennis, me and Paul

SAM_4098Me and Mair

SAM_4082Joe Graham and me

SAM_4096Me and Robert of Gallery U

SAM_4097Me signing book for Joe Graham

Halloween Double Feature Starring Kids, For Kids

Published October 11, 2013 by Maryanne

WestfieldPhoto by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Last week I had the opportunity to preview Westfield’s Hedgehog and Feather’s Halloween production of “Creature Double Feature II: The Mummy – The Wolfman.”

Here is the article I wrote: http://www.thealternativepress.com/articles/westfields-hedgehog-and-feather-to-present-hallo

It was so cool getting a sneak preview of the kids in action and always a pleasure to work with director Ty Jacobs and producer Sara Hedgepeth, as this was my second article this year for Hedgehog and Feather theatre.

Westfield High School Students Shine as Paper Mill’s ‘Rising Star’ Nominees

Published May 17, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0832Westfield High School cast and crew of “Bat Boy: The Musical”

Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of interviewing some students from the cast and crew of “Bat Boy: The Musical.”

This play received many nominations for the Paper Mill Play House Rising Star awards which will happen on June 4.

Note, Jersey girl and Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway received a Paper Mill Rising Star award, back in the day!

Enjoy my full article here: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/westfield-high-school-students-shine-as-paper-mil

Westfield’s Hedgehog and Feather Theatre Presents “The Secret Garden”

Published April 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Secret GardenLeft-right, Tom Schaefer, Sara Hedgepeth and Ty Jacobs (photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Two Fridays ago I had the honor to interview artistic producer, Sara Hedgepeth, her husband Tom Schaefer, who works on set, and actor/choreographer Ty Jacobs.

Here is my article about the “The Secret Garden” production: http://www.thealternativepress.com/towns/westfield/articles/westfields-hedgehog-and-feather-theatre-co-to-p

Westfield Community Players: A Hidden Gem in Westfield, New Jersey

Published March 23, 2013 by Maryanne

Westfield Community PlayersPhoto courtesy of Westfield Community Players

Here’s another article I just had published in the Westfield Alternative Press: http://www.thealternativepress.com/articles/discover-westfield-community-players-a-hidden-ge