Keep on Hoping – The Oscars


Maria Lauren, aka Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

No matter your age, keep on hoping. It might have been easier to be a starry-eyed dreamer when we were younger but as we get older and wiser, we calculate more and hope less. Forget about being hopeless! I like being hopeful better. Don’t you?

This month, my post highlights movies about inspirational people who give us the impetus to hope and put that hope in action. Next month, my post will highlight the artists who have touched our lives with their music.

In life, awards are given and achievements met but most importantly is the journey, the learning and the work. Sometimes the work is honored with an Academy Award.

I appreciate being entertained by a good movie, a story that makes me smile, laugh or expands my mind. This year, I’m delighted that we were offered films centered around real people whose true story not only affect us but show us the value of love, encouragement and perseverance to conquer the odds. These Oscar nominated movies are “The Theory of Everything,” “Unbroken,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma” and “Wild.”


The Theory of Everything


Stephen Hawkings was a professor, mathematician and a proclaimed unbeliever in God who was given only two years to live when he was diagnosed with ALS. With the love, hope and dedication of his wife, he lived a long and productive life. In his later years he professed to knowing the mind of God.

“Where there is life, there is hope.” – Stephen Hawkings

I believe a good movie should spark your imagination. How did the universe start? Stephen Hawkings searches for this answer. As I reflected on Mr. Hawkings theory, I came up with my own theory: In the beginning, in the  darkness were particles of light, God. Within that light was the hope of God to create and expand the light. We are part of this process, evolution and hope.

“The Theory of Everything” is nominated for Best Picture and the two stars, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are also nominated for their honest and stellar portrayals.



Angelina Jolie directs the story of Louis Zamperini, who thanks to the  encouragement of his brother became a USA Olympian. Louis served in World War II and when his bomber plane was shot down, he survived on a raft for 47 days and the perils of being a prisoner of war. Louis, later forgave his war-time captor and in 1998, he took part in the Olympic Torch relay at the Olympic Games. The movie touches on the root of Louis’s strength, a hope to survive, a deep Christian faith, and ends with a feeling of victory.

“Unbroken” received two Academy Award nominations.

The Imitation Game


The Imitation Game is a historical thriller about Alan Turing who tries to crack the enigma code during World War  II.  The war was not the only place where the cruelties of humanity were endured. During that time, Mr. Turing was convicted of indecency because of his homosexuality. Instead of doing jail time, he undergoes the harsh procedure of chemical castration so he can continue his work in the hope of saving lives.

“The Imitation Game” is nominated for eight Academy Award including Benedict Cumberbatch for leading actor, and Kiera Knightley for supporting actress.



Every year Martin Luther King day is celebrated which gives us an occasion to reflect on his life, speeches, hopes and civil rights. Selma is a drama about the struggles and hopes during that time in history and gives us another opportunity to contemplate the perils of unjustified prejudice.

“Selma” is nominated for two Oscar nominations in the category of best picture and best original song.



Academy Award winning actress, Reece Witherspoon portrays Cheryl Strayed and her journey of self-discovery while on a 1,100-mile hike along the beautiful but rugged Pacific Crest Trail. Although part of her wants to quit, she moves forward in freedom, bravery, vulnerability and hope. The journey helps her to leave behind the struggles of her past and move-on into her future.

Both Reece Witherspoon (best actress) and Laura Dern (best supporting actress) are nominated for Academy Awards for their work in “Wild.”


The light of encouragement comes in many forms like a smile, a hug or kindness and divine help is always available in the bible: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12

My hope in God gives me the peace to move on in positive action. Sometimes nature can rekindle my hope and be a place of self-discovery. Sometimes I even find it at the movies! 🙂


Oscar Trivia

To get you ready for the Academy Awards, I thought you might like to know a little about the history of the Oscar. Here’s a walk down memory lane to 1975 with Bob Hope as the Master of Ceremony. Bob Hope has hosted the Academy Awards nineteen times, more than any other host to date.

While viewing this YouTube, it made me reminisce. In 1974, my sister and I, Alberici Sisters, toured with Bob Hope in the singing and dancing girl group, The Golddiggers. It was an exciting time in showbiz and we had quite a journey performing with icons like the real members of the Rat Pack. The groovy 70’s comes alive in our book filled with true anecdotes of fun, hope, entertainment and backstage stories about the Stars. Beyond Our Wildest Dreams is selling on Amazon.


Bob Hope and The Golddiggers tour in 1974! Pictured clockwise: Linda (Alberici) Eichberg, Wendy Kimball, Bob Hope, Maria (Alberici) Lauren, Patti Gribow, Peggy Gohl

See you at the Oscars!

Maria Lauren, aka Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Riccio-You-Got-The-PowerThis blog is about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment.

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. This information is not meant to take the place of a physician. All content is copyrighted.

Silver Linings & Beyond


Maria Lauren (aka: Maria Elena Alberici -Riccio) – Motivational Fitness Coach, Entertainer, Author

“This is what I believe to be true… you have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest. If you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining.”

The motivating words above are taken from ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’ by Matthew Quick, an American author, who was born in 1973.  His book was successfully adapted into a movie, skillfully written and directed by David O. Russell and starring the talented actors, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker.

The movie is set in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia, the stomping grounds where I grew up with my big Italian, Hungarian family. Now living in the Los Angeles Valley, I felt right at home as I recognized the ‘Delco’ Delaware County area. Sparking my memory were familiar sights, diners and landmarks like Archbishop Prendergast (all-girl) High School, ‘Prendie,’ where I went to school for 3 years until my family moved further into the suburbs.

“You need to make time for your family no matter what happens in your life.” ~ Matthew Quick

At times, Robert De Niro’s stature reminded me of my dad in his later years. Love of family was strong for us and it was also apparent in this movie. Acceptance of each other was the underlining theme. Especially during the crazy scenes when obsessive compulsive behavior took over the lives of the characters whether it was for sports, in this case, the Philadelphia Eagles or a relationship gone wrong. Through it all, caring was paramount. “Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to signs… I’m telling you.” 


Robert De Niro captured the essence of Delco/Philly!

While watching the movie, I could see some of the same decor that filled our home and it brought a smile to my face to hear speech patterns of “Philly” slang. My dad was brought up in South Philly and would often blurt out phrases with an Italian passion/charm, “… You son of a gun! … You’re full of baloney! … Bunk! … Get the heck out of here! … Whatta you crazy? … Hiya! …”

“A Powerful LIFE” starts with family. My dad was always thinking of ways to make an extra dollar “buck” for his family of nine children. He would always encourage us and energize himself into action with positive sayings similar to the quotes said in the movie. “If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.” 

To earn a “buck,” dad and his brothers (Alberici Brothers) provided economical wedding receptions at the “Delco Catering Halls.” This is where my sisters and I first developed our craft as singers. The building has since been torn down but the location was fertile soil for our roots as we entered the world of entertainment, television, Hollywood, Las Vegas…!


Dean Martin & Alberici Sisters

We were barely out of High School, despite having been out on only a date or two, our first New York audition sent us to Hollywood to join Dean Martin’s Golddiggers. What a colorful life my sister and I have lived!? We wrote a book about it!

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams is about our (Alberici Sisters) show business journey with legends like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra with a peek into our family upbringing while living in the outskirts of Philadelphia.

We still have a blast entertaining…

Clips of the Alberici Sisters with Dean Martin

& Entertaining Today (New on You Tube!)


January 2013 News!

The ‘Silver Linings’ of a Powerful LIFE!

Healthy Habits for LIFE: Our family has always focused on the health and fitness of body, mind and spirit. We prayed together and still apply these values to our children.

Health is a Choice: View the Alberici Sisters article in the Desert Health News, Children Taught Healthy Habits Often Keep Them For Life


Rose Bowl Parade and Kaiser Permanente’s message: Our award-winning float entry in the Rose Bowl Parade was called, “Oh, the healthy things you can do!”  I am proud to work as a Lifestyle Educator at Kaiser Permanente in the Southern California area of Panorama City and Santa Clarita. Besides serving our patients with health care, we provide health education and fitness classes: Kaiser Permanente Health Education classes.  It is very rewarding for me to teach the “healthy things you can do” like Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and Dance exercise and teach our members to thrive!


“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve… You only need a heart full of grace.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Inauguration on Martin Luther King Day: This month inspired hope in my heart as I witnessed a double celebration; remembering Martin Luther King Day and viewing the 2013 President Inauguration of Obama. The inauguration was a beautiful ceremony but the highlight for me was the poem, ‘One Today’ recited and penned by poet, Richard Blanco. My deep knowing that Americans are “one nation under God” brought tears to my eyes while listening to Richard Blanco’s inspiring and descriptive words: “One sun rose for us today, kindled over our shores…”


Remember to look for the silver linings in your life. “I don’t want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings.” ~ Matthew Quick

Many Blessing,

Maria Lauren – Your Powerful LIFE blog

(aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio


“Beyond Our Wildest Dreams” book blog 

Maria’s Website

Contact Maria:

  • Keynote Speaker: “You Got The Power”
  • Entertainer: “Showstoppers”
  • Book Signings: “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”
  • Motivational Fitness Coach and Singing Coach

Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Riccio-You-Got-The-PowerThis 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.