“Perfect”

 

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“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” – 1 John 4:18

My daughter’s friends sometimes become a friend of the family sharing dinners, weddings and births. This is true of Shantal whose recent announcement, to those of us who know her, strikes a chord of courage and perfect love. With a gracious and enthusiastic heart, she has allowed me to share her story.

Shantal Sequeira: “My story you all know is a happy one. I met my love, got engaged, married, then pregnant. My pregnancy was virtually perfect, I felt good, no sickness, no hormonal emotions, I got a really happy vibe from this baby in my belly. When my son was born the nurse showed him to me for the first time, we locked eyes and she said what do you think? I shook my new baby’s hand (because he put his hand out as if to say “nice to meet you”) as he looked in my eyes, I thought ‘he’s perfect’.

Any mother knows your heart falls in such deep love that very moment in time. In that moment in time I was told my son may have Trisomy 21, a.k.a. Down Syndrome. In that moment I was so confused yet stayed calm because I didn’t know what this all meant? I just wanted to hold him and be with him. Nothing could block the new mommy, love, excited, fascination and beautiful love feelings I had for him, not even the possibility of him having this syndrome that I knew little about.

After being told baby Julian has displayed a positive diagnosis, my husband Elmer and I were shocked and wondered what was going to happen. We didn’t know how to feel really but with a deeper sense of warmth and responsibility, we held hands and asked every question in the world. Then, off we were on this journey into parenthood of a very special child. After covering all the bases about health conditions and possibilities down the road everything looked normal in Julian (his heart, his lungs). The only difference was… now I knew a little bit more about him as a person, that’s all.

They say you are supposed to go through a process of sadness, to ‘grieve’ or ‘mourn’ this life that you imagined for your child like, him going to Harvard or whatever… but to me, I always lived in the moment because you never know what the next moment has to offer. I am so SO proud of my son and he hasn’t gone one day without making me smile. They say it’s normal to cry and think “why me” but I’m not one of those people, Julian has special needs but he has a GREAT life, he has two loving parents a house, two puppy brothers and everything he needs to strive and reach all his milestones in life.

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Mom, Baby, Dad – Shantal, Julian, Elmer

Julian has been full of surprises since week thirteen of my pregnancy when we thought he was going to be a girl. LOL. Well, there is no better or perfect family for Julian to have fallen into than with myself and Elmer as his parents.

Contrary to popular belief this doesn’t mean he has a disease, or considered retarded or whatever. No, it is a combination of characteristics that causes developmental differences than a typical child. There are so many myths out there but EVERY child is different so there is no telling when he may begin to talk or walk. The community has SO many resources that provide early interventions to help with anything we need.

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Baby Julian

Either way, Julian is a baby, I’m a new mommy, and nothing has changed my experience as a mother and the bond we share together. I haven’t had a moment to write about this since breastfeeding is an all-encompassing experience. I feel blessed, my heart never loved so hard and I’m not saying I love my son more than any other mom out there, but the truth is I was meant to have him. We were meant to have him.

The crazy thing is, I remember a year or so before I got pregnant the day my husband and I had a conversation about down syndrome kids and I specifically said I wouldn’t mind having a kid with special needs, he answered back and said you know what, me neither. I get chills repeating that because God, the Universe was listening and I feel so lucky. One out of something like seven hundred kids are born with downs and I was chosen to be one of the moms of this awesome kid. Also contrary to popular belief the majority of kids born with Trisomy 21 are young moms, not over the age of 35 like people believe. (I got pregnant at 30).

Julian is amazing, at 2 months of age he is the most courageous baby I have ever seen. He doesn’t cry when he gets poked at the doctor and he has this peace about him that I wish I could imitate. He is patient, confident, he actually never cries. Sometimes he yells and it seems as if he listens to the sound of himself yelling and thinks to himself, “I don’t like that sound” and stops. He sleeps through the night, doesn’t make a peep and he’s actually a pretty serious baby. I love his personality so far, he has his dads big serious eyes, he doesn’t smile yet, but very rarely when he does… he smiles using his eyes and his smiley lips with no teeth. My heart melts. And I don’t doubt that throughout his life he will melt a lot of hearts.”

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Perfect Love – Baby and Mommy

So Happy

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

(Song excerpt, “So Happy” by : Alan Gordon, Allan Lee Gordon, Garry Bonner)

~~~

 It was a pleasure to share Shantal’s powerful story; it melted my heart.  I trust that baby Julian will follow in his mom and dad’s loving ways.

Speaking of melting, summer is a good time to share my daughter Marianna’s favorite summer treat. This frozen treat will melt in your mouth before or after a workout. A tasty snack for kids of all ages, it’s healthy and easy to make too!

 Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Energy Pops (short for popsicle)

Banana_Peanut_Butter_Energy_Pops

Banana Peanut Butter Energy Pops (pre-frozen)

Ingredients:

One banana

One tablespoon of peanut butter

Option: Mixing some dark chocolate chips to the peanut butter

Two servings

1. Take a ripe banana, and slice it in half (like you would when you slice bananas.)

2. Take one of the halves and slice it horizontally, so it resembles the sandwich part of an ice

3. Smear one tablespoon of peanut butter on one side; put the other side on top, wrap it in aluminum foil, and pop them in the freezer.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other half of the banana.

When the treat is frozen, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw for one minute. Then enjoy this delicious pick-me-up snack. I’m telling you, it tastes like peanut butter banana ice cream!

 

Marianna Riccio

Marianna Riccio

Marianna Riccio comes from a long line of “healthy treat junkies.”

Long before big health food chains such as Whole Foods even existed, her grandfather and grandmother who are my mom and dad, Albert and Lee Alberici raised nine children on natural, unprocessed foods and created healthy treats for the family.

Marianna is a third generation still living in the same light. Back in the 50’s, my sister and I, Alberici Sisters, were raised as vegetarians before it became popular. We wrote about being health pioneers and our entertainment adventures in our book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams.

 

Thank you Shantal and Marianna for sharing,

Maria Lauren, a.k.a. Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio,

Your Powerful LIFE blog

~ If you would like to be an advocate for people with Down Syndrome, I suggest finding out more at N.D.S.S., National Down Syndrome Society.

~ My Website

Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

“Jersey Boys” – Philly Girls

 

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The story of the “Jersey Boys” lives close to home.

 I love musicals, on stage, television or movies! High on my list of  musicals is the Tony award winner, “Jersey Boys” directed for the big screen by Clint Eastwood.

It was fun to go back in time to this big slice of hit songs provided by the iconic pop  group, The Four Seasons and Frankie Valli.

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Jersey Boys: John Lloyd Young and Frankie Valli

In the movie, the members of The Four Seasons are portrayed by the Broadway stars including John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for his role as Valli. Most of the  cast members are made up of actors that are up-and-coming, except for Christopher Walken, who plays the role of mobster Angelo DeCarlo, known for funding the rise of Valli and Sinatra too.

If you are a fan of this era, the music or the Broadway musical, the movie “Jersey Boys” is a must-see!

“Everybody remembers it how they need to.” – Jersey Boys, movie tagline

“Jersey Boys” movie website and trailer

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Jersey Boys with Clint Eastwood at the premiere

The Four Seasons got their start in New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia where I grew-up with my family of eight sisters and brothers. Our Philly neighborhood also had our own singing group of cute guys that sang outside the corner drug store. My sister Linda and I looked forward to listening to their harmonies on our way home from school. Of course, there was singing at our home too.

Not unlike the Jersey Boys’ neighborhood, the neighborhood where my sister and I grew-up had an unspoken protocol: Be loyal to your roots, especially your family, support each other, never forgetting those who believed in you.

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“Philly Girls” – Alberici Sisters – Maria & Linda

Those sentiments are weaved within the pages of our book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams. During the 70’s, my sister Linda and I shared an exciting journey entertaining with celebrity legends as part of the groovy troop of girl singers and dancers called, The Golddiggers. How did it all begin for us? Was showbiz all that it was cracked up to be? Oh the stories! You’ll also read the views of others that were there with us, thanks to our book producer Billy Ingram, who transcribed dozens of interviews to give the fabric of our story texture and color.

The narrators, Linda Eichberg and myself, Alberici Sisters, arranged each characters’ documentary into a context that is sequentially historical and orchestrated each episode into a stimulating celebration of a bygone time.

~~~

For me, it all starts and ends with the family. Regardless of whether I was touring with the biggest stars in show business such as Frank Sinatra himself, entertaining in front of the television cameras, performing in Las Vegas or traveling to exotic places, family was a powerful influence.

* Enjoy these excerpts from BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS that are taken out of context so you can taste a few samples of this delicious era.

TIMES IN THE GOLDDIGGERS…

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The Dean Martin Golddiggers walk the red carpet at the 2009 Grammys: Deborah Pratt, Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg and Maria Lauren, Susan Buckner, Marie Halton- Peck, Peggy Gohl

Maria and Linda:  

As a group, we grew from wide-eyed girls to womanhood, from go-go boots to evening gowns. We changed our look and our sound but not our hearts. These wonderful ladies with whom we traveled for so many years are now our lifelong friends.

Oh, the adventures we had together! Our life has been a whirlwind of surprises with many challenges, ups and downs, but my sister and I still kept plugging along and held on to each other and our family values. Yes, there was danger as well but our faith carried us through it all.

 

 ~~~

FAMILY VISITS ON TOUR…

Darlene (Alberici) Cianci, Golddigger 1977, our younger sister: 

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Darlene Alberici – Cianci

Keeping the family connected was very important to our dad. He wouldn’t let too much time pass without paying Linda and Maria a surprise visit.

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Patti Pivarnik – Gribow

Patti (Pivarnik) Gribow, Golddigger 1973 -1985: When the sisters’ family came to see us, I was always amazed how those young, gorgeous, sexy, powerhouse performers on stage could immediately after a show become nurturing caretakers, bouncing their younger siblings on their knees and changing diapers.

~~~

THE 1977 FRANK SINATRA & DEAN MARTIN TOUR…

Chuck Anderson, guitarist: One night I asked a guy I worked with, Who do you work for?

He said, “I work for the mob.”

I said, “You’re a conductor and work for the mob?”

He says, “Yes.”

And I said, “Well, how do you find working for the mafia?”

He says, “They leave me alone, they’re very nice, they’re very polite, they expect me to be on time, they expect me to be sober, do my job, and they pay me very well.”

So it gave me a very different view of our television and film idea of the mafia guys. South Philly was the Angelo Bruno family and all the different crime families were in Philadelphia and in New York. But it never affected the music. It’s not really that much of a surprise, Vegas was founded by Bugsy Siegel. The mafia was kind of a big, organized corporation. It wasn’t the St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

 

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Co-writer and Narrator: Linda Alberici – Eichberg

Linda: Dean didn’t take himself quite as seriously as Frank did. He was a simpler guy. He talked to us about his golf game, working out, TV—especially his favorite westerns— and his family. That was enough for him. He didn’t go around with a ‘kingdom’ surrounding him like Frank did. For the most part, The Golddiggers were his entourage now.

Dean was never like the boss, he was like a part of our family. He never gave off a vibe of pressure; he was the most gracious, cool guy, really. He had this little act that would pump him up before the show. He wanted to see each girl before he went on. Oh, and if you were late or you missed him, you would hear about it, in a funny way. He used to kid around with us, “Where were you? I missed you.”

~~~

PERFORMING AT THE LATIN CASINO, NJ…

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Maria: My family, including my uncles, aunts and my grandmas, dressed in their finest evening attire to see us at the Latin Casino. They never stopped talking about how they were treated like kings and queens at our show. Frank Sinatra insisted on taking care of the comps for this engagement, he had our family regally escorted to a long table right up in front, smack in the middle. I heard that Frank told the waiters and waitresses not to take any tips from their table or they would be fired. He would take care of the gratuity. At least that’s what the servers told my relatives. They never forgot that old school courtesy. It was the Italian way…respect from great men. They could hardly believe it.

~~~

ENTERTAINING IN MONTE CARLO, FRANCE…

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Co-writer and Narrator: (aka) Maria Lauren

Maria: Our group got along so well. I think the love we had for one another overflowed to whoever was around us. As the invited guests of Sheiks and Princes, some of us went on a tour of the Royal Palace equipped with Palace guards more colorful than the pictures in my childhood storybook of Cinderella. As I walked through the interior of the Palace it seemed hard to believe that Princess Grace Kelly was brought up not far from where Linda and I grew up in Philadelphia.

I began to reminisce back to my Miss Pennsylvania days when Grace Kelly’s brother Jack took me on a tour of Philly’s in-spots frequented by the Main-Line elite. As I looked around me, I began to ache for a little reality. I was missing my family back home to be honest.

 

 ~~~

 I hope you enjoyed these snippets from our book. It was a sense of family and our deep faith that brought clarity to my sister and I as we adventured “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams.” Even today, we are grateful for the blessings that guide us to a balanced life as moms, fitness professionals and entertainers.

Without a doubt, the music and times of “Jersey Boys” and Frankie Valli has made a mark in showbiz history. Coincidently, it was good to see Frankie Valli attending Sunday service at our church with his family. Ah yes, faith, family, friends and love is the glue that keep life together.

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” – Mark Twain

Live your truth,

Maria Lauren, (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

 ***

What’s next for our book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS?

Maybe there is a Broadway musical, film or television show on the horizon. :-)

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS – Book Preview

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS – Blog

Maria’s Website

Contact: YGTPower@aol.com

Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a personal blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

 

How to get a Thin Waist but Keep Your Curves

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Marianna Riccio practices the Yoga Tree Pose

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Marianna Riccio at a pool party in Las Vegas

Marianna Riccio brings into her life balance by practicing Yoga Savasana which is purposeful thoughts, “I am strength. I am length. I am grace. I am faith.” Also a good outlet for her is doing many different forms of exercise, being creative, which she does through her song writing and performing, as well as socializing with her friends.

One of Marianna’s fans, a young woman asked me (Marianna’s mom) to share her health and fitness regiment. She admired Marianna’s curves and tiny waistline; she wanted to know what to do to get the same shape. Knowing that Marianna is following a healthy lifestyle fills me with gratitude; that makes this mom happy!

Here’s how Marianna gets her healthy bikini body:

Start with the Power of the Cleanse

Marianna: “First thing in the morning, I usually swish oil in my mouth using a tablespoon of coconut oil for about 20 minutes. This is called Oil Pulling which purifies the bacteria in the mouth etc. It really helps get rid of that dry mouth feeling and freshens the breath.

Then, I drink a cup of warm water with some fresh squeezed lemon in it, which makes the body more alkaline (Lemon Recipes). Also part of my cleansing ritual is drinking a tablespoon of Aloe Vera Juice (inner fillet) in a glass of  water (love it in coconut water) or fresh juice. I do this in the evening or in the morning. Sometimes, I skip the above and have some naturally flavored green tea or a detox tea with stevia and unsweetened almond/coconut milk. I do whatever time permits.”

Energizing Pre-Workout Power Smoothie

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Energizing Pre-Workout Power Smoothie

“After cleansing internally, I energize and get my smoothie ingredients together. I use one to two scoops of a vegan protein/vitamin/mineral powder consisting of nutrients like Spirulina and probiotics. I also use a teaspoon of maca powder, a tablespoon of chia seeds (grounded preferred) and a tablespoon of raw cacao powder. Add to the mix a tablespoon of goji berries and a teaspoon of acai powder and a frozen banana. I sometimes add a tbsp. of almond butter for a creamy smoothie. As my base, I like to use unsweetened coconut or almond milk, as well as young Coconut Water. Use as much liquid as you like for your desired consistency. If I don’t have some of the ingredients, I use what I have on hand.

I like to put raw almonds and walnuts on top of my smoothie so I can eat it with a spoon instead of drinking it. This adds more protein and the chewing helps to activate the digestion. Of course, you can create your own energy boost smoothie with your favorite fruit juice. These are just suggestions so experiment!”

Powerful Exercise Endorphins Make Me Happy!

“Having a dancer’s background, I can’t just go on the treadmill or elliptical machine and do some squats and sit-ups. Boring! In order to truly lose weight, losing body fat and gaining muscle mass, you must have the proper balance of cardio and weight training. The intensity level for losing weight is when you get a feeling a breathlessness, even if it’s for 25 seconds. I experience this in my favorite forms of cardio: Spinning (cycling) and a Cardio-Barre class. Remember: losing weight is all about calorie intake vs. outtake. What you put in must be exercised out. A pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories. Cycling,  jogging, power walking, swimming etc. are all aerobic activities. However, a Barre class, Yoga or weight training is anaerobic, which I love, because your body’s metabolism is gradually being raised, and you are burning calories throughout that day! Wow!. This is why sometimes you won’t feel “the burn” until the next morning when you’re like ‘Woah!… My quads, my shoulders, and my glutes… Oh my!’ I love this feeling of sensing my muscles develop and get stronger because I know my body fat is decreasing. Got to love that! This is why I recommend EVERYONE to get a body fat scale. I have one that shows my muscle mass, body water, bone density and body fat. The reason I recommend this is because judging your “pounds” can be vague, meaning that I could weigh the same as another woman but have way less fat and more muscle mass than her. The truth is that as your muscles develop, you will lose body fat and therefore, lose weight!  Also, weigh yourself in the morning. What I weigh at 8pm and 8am can be a 5 pound difference sometimes.

Remember: Be patient with your body and don’t judge yourself.  I have screws and plates in my ankle because of a past accident and some days I may be more sore and less energized. Listen to your body. Healthy rest and drinking water is just as important as a healthy diet and working out. All you can do is try, and remember that exercise endorphins truly make you happy! Don’t just work your butt off! Work your butt high! That comes by doing  a combination of aerobics and muscle conditioning exercises. Don’t forget to stretch to keep your muscles lean, prevent injuries and keep your heart and body open.”

Marianna_Riccio_Yoga

Marianna Riccio stays grounded in a busy world

“In conclusion, I can not express enough how much I love yoga! I love a nice heated vinyasa flow class. Not only do I feel it detoxifying my body and my muscles getting stronger, but it makes my spirit and my mind stronger as well. I always look forward to the closing 10 minutes of Savasana where I can clear my mind and just breathe.

Exercise keeps me grounded and helps my mind be more intuitively creative in a busy world.” – Marianna Riccio

~~~

Thank you Marianna for sharing these fitness goodies that contributes to your powerful life and effect the lives closest to you.

The Yoga greeting, “Nameste” means that the goodness in me salutes the goodness in you. The CD Relax-n-Renew will help you get a Nameste feeling too!

Nameste,

Maria Lauren (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

My Website

Marianna’s Website

Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a personal blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

 

Singin’ & Swingin’ – Upstairs at Vitello’s

 

Alberici-Sisters-Vitello's

Alberici Sisters: Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg

May is the month for mothers, so I’m delighted to be in rehearsals singing and swinging with family, my sister, Linda and my daughter Marianna. We’ll be singing songs that were sung by divas Billy Holiday to Donna Summer. Put into the mix, the talented musicians of the LA Winds Jazz Band and I’m in jazz heaven!

Beyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams-bookWe’re pulling out some timeless vocal arrangements to give our audience a taste of classic Las Vegas and the “Showstoppers” who reigned on the Vegas strip.

It was a stroke of luck for my sister and I, (aka) the Alberici Sisters to perform with master entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other showbiz legends. We even wrote a book about it, “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams” and we’ll be signing our book after the show.

It’s Rat Pack Sunday on June 1st, at the world-renowned Upstairs at Vitello’s, so join the party! We’re gonna live-it-up while keeping time-honored music alive and “live.”

About the Show  

~~~

Marianna_Riccio

Marianna Riccio – Vocalist – Host

The “Showstoppers” team is delighted to feature the versatile and dynamic singer Marianna Riccio, who is a frequent guest of “RnB Live!” 

What’s the club scene like in Las Vegas today?

Marianna Riccio knows…

“Lady Luck” Let your light shine! 

~~~

Rehearsals continue and it is a workout to sing while doing choreography, let me tell ya, but it’s also a time to play with great musicians and performers! Nice!!

Remember as part of “Your Powerful Life” to do what you love to do.

 

Feeling blessed to be singin’ and swingin’,

Maria Lauren, (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

 ***

Book blog

My website

Contact: YGTPower@aol.com

Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a personal blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

 

Renewal! Earth Day and You!

 

Camp_Verdi_Foods

Campi Verdi Foods

With the promise of Spring and the Easter message of renewal still in the air, we celebrate ‘Earth Day’ on April 22nd. Take time to appreciate the value of ‘Mother Earth’ and become more aware of the ‘Living Temple’ of you! Living green includes what we put in out bodies. A powerful way to start is by eating healthy greens.

A POWERFUL LIFE WITH POWERFUL GREENS!

Marico_DegliEsposti

Marco Degli Esposti grows living greens at Campi Verdi

It brings me joy to turn the spotlight on Marco Degli Esposti, who against physical odds is making a difference in himself and others. After a near fatal accident and numerous surgeries, Marco began to accelerate his healing and gain energy through juicing and eating greens.

Young entrepreneur, Marco Degli Esposti grows high quality living greens and shares his knowledge with others, through his family operated company, Campi Verdi, which is Italian for Green Fields.

Find out more about the health benefits of a plant-empowered life and Marco’s story of renewal at the Campi Verdi Foods website.

campi_verdi

Camp Verdi is located in Eastern Pennsylvania.

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” - Winston Churchill

I am very blessed to be a member of a big family, the Alberici family. All of us, nine children were raised with a plant-based diet. These good eating habits were passed on to our children. A peaceful happiness fills me as I witness the next generation, including my nephew Marco, engaging in a healthy lifestyle. Living green includes what we put in out bodies. Eating or jucing greens always makes me feel more alive! Find out why:

“Do not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

ASSERT YOUR POWER ON EARTH DAY!

~ Learn more about conserving the great resources of our earth and the GMO controversy.

~ Go on a nature walk and take someone you love.

~ Listen to the ‘Music of Earth’…

~~~

“YOU GOT THE POWER” – ENTERTAINMENT, EXERCISE, COOKING AND EARTH DAY TIPS!

Wishing you renewal,

Maria Lauren (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

Fitness and Entertainment: My Website

Soothing Music and Guided Imagery: Relax-n-Renew CD

Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a personal blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

 

“Lady Luck” let your light shine!

"Lady Luck" - Vegas song!

Marianna Riccio – Singer/Songwriter (Photo by Nicky Wesley)

Within each woman is a “Lady Luck” ready to take form as a mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend, mentor or competitor.

Marianna Riccio brings a new sound to the Las Vegas scene with her song, “Lady Luck.” Vegas has sure changed since the time I performed there during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. As a young mother, I took my daughter, Marianna with me when I performed with Dean Martin as part of the singing and dancing group, The Golddiggers. Even then, she loved the lights, the sounds and the Stars.

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Dean Martin of Rat Pack fame, backstage at Ballys with Marianna Riccio and mom, Maria Lauren

Marianna’s new pop/dance song, “Lady Luck” makes Vegas come alive, hotter than ever!

Listen to Marianna sing “Lady Luck” featuring the Alberici Sisters of Rat Pack fame and other original songs by Marianna Riccio on Sound Cloud!

“Lady Luck” – Vegas song lyrics by Marianna Riccio

~~~

Television Glitter!

Every week, television transports me to the glitter and glamour that Las Vegas is known for when I watch “Dancing With The Stars.”

This season, myself and most women I know are happy to see the Chmerkovskiy brothers, Val and Maks, on the show again but I am most in awe of Team USA’s Paralympic bronze medalist, Amy Purdy. She is inspirational, her beauty is transparent, she’s got moves and Derek Hough as a partner!

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough – Dancing With The Stars

~~~

As a mom, I still want to protect my daughter. This takes love, faith, trust and heavenly power. I know my daughter has her own journey but I am always there for her. Young women, take heart as you learn your strengths, weaknesses and how resilient you are body, mind and spirit.

Let your “Lady Luck” light shine!

Maria Lauren (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

***

Alberici-Sisters--Rat-Pack-book During the groovy 70’s, Dean Martin and The Golddiggers joined the best in Las Vegas entertainment. Elvis, Sinatra and Liza ruled the Vegas strip and my sister and I, Alberici Sisters, were a part of it, so we wrote the book, “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams!”

For book signings and motivational speaking contact: YGTPower@aol.com

My Website    Marianna’s Website

Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a personal blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

 

Monuments Men – Olympics – International Treasures

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I can’t imagine living in a world without art. To gaze at fine art is to transport the imagination into another time. What was Leonardo da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa thinking? The performing arts also opens a buffet of thoughts and feeling within me as I watch or listen to a story unfolding by actors, singers or dancers.

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” (Pablo Picasso)

Like most, I appreciate the value of art but not as much as the heroic men who were portrayed in the movie, “The Monuments Men.” These men were mostly middle-aged family men from different nations, educated in the field of art, who put their lives in the middle of Hitler’s devastating war to find art and preserve it. Ironically, it was the bravery and the wit of a woman who was the key to “The Monuments Men” finding most of these treasures.

“The Monuments Men” was tastefully directed by George Clooney, in a way that was reminiscent of the classic movies of the 1940’s. The terror of the Holocaust was present but in a thought-provoking and subtle way. The music added a nostalgic mood to the light and dark moments while the characters came to life by the acting of a skillful ensemble cast led by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin, a French actor who received notoriety for “The Artist.”

As I watched the movie, I had a moment of bittersweet reflection as I thought of my dad who had passed away. When I was growing up, my dad and his brothers represented a different kind of ‘Monument Men.’ Their father was a sculptor and they sold tomb stones to mark the graves in Catholic cemeteries. The monument stones were usually sculpted with flowers, Jesus, his mother or a bible quote; a way a family could pay respects to their beloved and family heritage, a treasure.

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” (Thomas Campbell)

“Love never dies…” (1 Corinthians 8)

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Powerful Performances & Olympic Treasures

olympic-gold-medalistsTonight, the Olympics is coming to a close. I’ve enjoyed the international display of sports and artistry in motion, especially the ice skating and ice dancing. I beg to differ with those who say that this is not a sport. Jumping and twirling on solid ground is difficult enough but doing it on the ice, now that takes courage and skill!olympics-davis-white

 Definition of sport: “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

 I admire the dedication it takes to be the best in all the Olympic disciplines. Just take a look at the pictures of Olympian Gold Medalists, Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States and you’ll see a combination of strength, flexibility, grace, precision and excellence. They began ice dancing at age eight and nine years old with their moms cheering them throughout their journey.

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We cheer the Olympic spirit! We cheer our teams! Teamwork is so important…

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” (Andrew Carnegie)

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Wishing you treasures of the heart,

Maria Lauren (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

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Beyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams-bookMy sister and I, Alberici Sisters, are a singing team that started entertaining audiences at age eight and nine. As young women we entered the 70’s singing and dancing group The Golddiggers, regulars on the “Dean Martin Comedy Hour.” Our journey took us to performances in front of royalty and in the company of great entertainers including the real Rat Pack. We wrote a book about it. Next, the movie! Wouldn’t George Clooney make a good Dean Martin? ;-)

Book Preview: www.BeyondOurWildestDreams.com

My Website: www.MariaLauren.com

 

Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a personal blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.