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Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm going to Mar A Lago: can't wait!!

Dear friends,
I’m writing you this BLOG while getting ready to go for a Concert to a very special place, Mar A Lago, in Palm Beach Florida.
I can’t wait to go there and see it with my own eyes. I’ve heard so many wonderful stories about this place, and I know that artists like Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli has performed there for the members of the Club, just like I will be doing tomorrow night. So it’s nerve racking to follow those Stars, but also so very flattering and exciting to have been chosen to perform in such a great location!!
Next week I will write the BLOG with all the details of my staying there but today I want to share what I found about this place with all of you!!
Mar-A-Lago ("mahr-ah-lahgo"), built 1924-1927, is the name of the Majorie Merriweather Post estate in Palm beach Florida. Post built the house with her (then) husband, Edward F. Hutton . The beautiful house was designed by Joseph Urban. Upon her death in 1973 Marjorie Post willed the 17-acre (69,000 m2) estate to the U.S. Government as a retreat for Presidents and visiting foreign dignatories. The mansion was not however used for this purpose, prior to being declared a National Historic Landmark in 1980.
Mar-A-Lago has frequently hosted the International Red Cross Ball, an annual white tie, tails, and tiara ball. Founded by Mrs. Post, it has a history of attracting wealthy socialites and ambassadors from across the world in support of the mission of the American Red Cross. 
Now home to the Mar-A-Lago Club, the 126-room, 110,000-square-foot (10,219 m²) estate is owned by Donald Trump. Trump paid $ 10 million for the estate in 1985. After acquiring the property in 1985, Trump had the property renovated, with 58 bedrooms, 33  bathroom, a 29-foot (8.8 m)-long pietra dura marble top dining table, 12 fireplaces, and three bomb shelters. Also, the home has five clay and one grass tennis court with a waterfront pool. Further additions have been made since then, including the recent construction of a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) ballroom. The name Mar-A-Lago is Spanish for "Sea to Lake".
In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley spent their honeymoon at Mar-a-Lago.
On October 3, 2006, Trump raised a 15' × 25' flag on an 80' flagpole at Mar-a-Lago. Town zoning officials asked Trump to adhere to town zoning codes that limit flagpoles to a height of 42'. This dispute led the town council of Palm Beach to charge Trump $1,250 for every day the flag at Mar-A-Lago remained. Trump filed a lawsuit against the town.
The flag pole incident was quietly resolved. The six-month stand-off ended as town officials agreed to a settlement that will lower the banner 10 feet (3.0 m) and move it away from the ocean. All fines were dropped and Trump contributed $100,000 to various charities for Iraq War veterans, the American flag or veterans' hospitals. Trump dropped his $25 million lawsuit against the town.
So this is the story of Mar A Lago.
I’m so looking forward to go there today. I will be flying there in a few hours with my musicians and I will get to stay at the Club!! It’s going to be so much fun!! Stay tune for my next BLOG to hear all about it!!
And I can’t believe that while here in NYC it has snowed last night in a few hours I will be in the sun and hot weather of Florida!!

Love always,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Italian voice of radio in America: Sal Palmeri

Dear friends,

As an artist I have the privilege to travel the world and to meet many people. I get to meet my fans, a thing I really love since they are the reason why I can live my passion, my life.

But I get to meet also a lot of people that work behind the scenes in the entertainment business, like radio DJs, television crews and journalists.
Well you can’t make friends with everybody, but at times you get to meet somebody and for some reasons you feel a special connection and you end up becoming good friends.
That’s why some of my fans are also some of my greatest friends and some of the business and media people end up becoming very dear friends too.

Yesterday I was invited to do a radio interview with Sal Palmeri for a program called “Un Ponte Sull’Oceano” a collaboration between ICN Radio and Radio Amica. ICN Radio is an Italian language radio station here in the USA and Radio Amica is a radio station from Sicily, Italy.
Really a “Un Ponte Sull’Oceano”, indeed a Bridge across the ocean.

Waiting for the connection with Radio Amica
Yesterday at the radio with Sal
I want to introduce you today with this BLOG the DJ that interviewed me yesterday: Sal Palmeri.
I met Sal 7 years ago when I came to NYC for the first time.
I was in NYC for only a few months and I had just released my CD “Italian Signorina” when I was invited for a radio interview at ICN, and very popular among the Italian community.

Posters of Italian stars that Sal brought to America
With Sal, a very well known DJ of ICN, there was an instant connection and now 7 years after that day we still share a very respectful and sincere friendship. 

Posters of Italian stars that Sal brought to America
Sal was born in Italy, in Sicily and moved to the USA when he was a teenager in 1958. His first passion was theatre. He studied acting and diction at the Hunter College of NYC and soon after his degree he started to work as DJ in NYC. His very distinctive voice became an instant success and in no time he was one of the most popular DJs in the Italian Community in NYC. He became the most requested presenter for events that were bringing here in the USA big stars of the Italian music like Claudio Villa, Gianni Morandi, Domenico Modugno, Albano, Mino Reitano, Don Backy, Massimo Ranieri, Antonello Venditti, I Pooh, Pupo, Little Tony and many more. They all were performing in the most prestigious Theatres in NYC like Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Philharmonic Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Manhattan Center, Town Hall etc. and Sal was presenter for all them.

He even became the producer of the Concerts for many of those Italian stars in USA.
Posters of Italian stars that Sal brought to America
Sal worked for 23 years as speaker for several radios like WHBI/fm, WBNX/am, WHOM/fm, WPOW/fm, WNWK/fm, WDAS/fm, and WIFI/fm.
And it was Sal who on December 1st 1983 founded ICN  Radio  (Italian Communication Network),, the voice of the Italians in America. To this day this station has never stopped their programs, on the air 24/7 with a great variety of shows, going from music to theatre, from sport and cinema but also with news, and information and so much more.
Proclamation of Sal's Day
February 10, 1990 the United States House of Representatives, in occasion of Sal’s 25th anniversary of his work for the radio has even declared the “Sal Palmeri ‘s Day” on the 9th District of NYC. How cool is that! Sal is very humble and modest about his accomplishments, but I think that he has so much to be proud of. In his radio studio all around there are so many awards he received for his work in radio.
Yesterday during the radio interview
Thanks to Sal Radio ICN is still a very important and instrumental tool to promote Italian language and culture among the Italian Americans in New York and New Jersey. ICN radio has since a few years also joined forces with one of the most important Italian newspaper in the NY and NJ area: America Oggi. A very powerful multimedia network for the Italian community, thanks to whom the Italian Americans can stay connected with Italy and where they can also find all kind of information related to the Italian community.
Sal still does every day, Monday to Friday his very popular program “Buon Giorno Italia”, a program dedicated to music, information and Italian culture. Indeed the program I was invited for an interview 7 years ago.
Memories from Sal's wall
Since 2009 Sal is also the Artistic Director of the Italian Association of New York that organizes every year a Festival of the Italian Song in NYC.
Memories from Sal's wall
Well this is my friend Sal. A quiet exceptional man that has really accomplished so much in his life so far and who has still so much energy and passion to go on with new ventures and projects. Sal loves radio but he has never forgotten his first love for acting and writing script for movies and theatre. He is currently working on a theatrical play dedicated to the tragedy and the success of the immigrant.
I’m always very proud to say that he’s my friend and to receive his compliments and to have his support is, as you can imagine, a great deal of pride for me. He is a man with passion and respect for artists and music and it’s always a joy to be guest at his programs.

With Sal at the Cipriani in NYC
Yesterday it was also a lot of fun to go his studio and talk to him and with Giulia from Radio Amica in Sicily about my music, my future projects, my experience as an Italian artist in the USA and so much more.

I’m always so proud to see people like Sal that came to the USA with nothing, just a dream and become so successful in their fields. It’s such a wonderful life lesson for me to see that if you have a vision, if you believe in your dream and you are ready to commit to make it happen, really everything is possible in life.

With Sal after the release partyt for "Italian Signorina"
One at the time I will tell you in my future blogs about more incredible people of Italian heritage I met here in America that you may have never heard of, like Sal, have made from nothing a very incredible successful and meaningful live here in the USA some of them owning private banks, chemical companies, shopping malls…really incredible people with unbelievable successful stories!!

The release party of my CD "Italian Signorina"
Music is my profession, my passion and my blessing. Music has brought into my life so much joy, friends, and priceless experiences of life, incredible personal enrichment and so many unforgettable memories!

I’m so grateful to GOD for my talent and so grateful to have the love and support always of each and everyone of my fans and friends!!

Stay tune for my next BLOG. I will be singing at Fashion Week this weekend at the magnificent Waldorf Astoria , so maybe about Fashion!!

Love always,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

10 ways to celebrate LOVE at Valentine’s Day even if we do not have a lover!!

Dear friends,

We are getting even closer to Valentine’s Day.
The thought of Valentine’s Day brings in our mind for sure romantic evenings, a candlelight dinner, and long walks with your loved one. It is, without a doubt the most romantic day of the year. Popular conception and all the media promotion of it, has resulted in Valentine's Day being regarded only as a day for lovers. And yet, the occasion is not so. In its true sense, Valentine's Day celebrates LOVE. If we think clear and think hard we are sure to arrive at the conclusion that Saint Valentine stood up to defend love and not romantic partners.

The celebration of Valentine's Day is not limited to lovers but includes any and everyone loved by us, be it our parents, siblings, children, friends, relatives or dear ones.

So how could you possibly be expected to enjoy Valentine’s Day when you’re alone? Well, while it might not be all hearts and flowers, you can still spread the message of Valentine’s Day: Love.

I have for you some tips on how you can indulge in Valentine's Day festivities in your own special way, and still can celebrate the LOVE in you life and have as a result an unforgettable feeling of joy and happiness.

1. Spend Quality time with family members

With my wonderful family
The fast paced world, our jobs and the many activities with all have in our normal routine, has left us with little time, or no time, to be with our dear ones. Valentine's Day can be a wonderful opportunity for us to spend time with our family members. We can party, make a trip to the restaurant or go out for a movie together. I love my family and that’s what I did when I was a single girl: having a nice time out with my mom and dad. They were also happy since they always said: I made their love completely!! Nothing is more precious and full of love than a family!!
Treat on the doorknob
You can start the day with hearts and roses here and there in the house, you can hang treat filled cups from a bedroom doorknob or place them on the breakfast table. You can set a Valentine breakfast table that will surprise your family when they wake up (I'm not a morning person so I always prepare my special occasion "surprise tables" the night before). You can make heart’s shaped pancakes or toast breads, prepare the table in Red and Pink and have everyone favorite things to eat on the table!! A great way to start the day of love!!

2. Party with unhitched friends
Fun with girlfriends on my roof deck
Party at your place! Invite friends over for wine, appetizers, gossiping, and good times. To mix it up, make it a theme party, like suggesting that everyone wear all pink and create an iPod play list with songs like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Holding Out for a Hero” or “Single Lady”. Or just go out with your single friends can also be a great option to celebrate. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you’re alone! Round up some unattached chicks and hit the bars, a restaurant, the local karaoke joint, and the bowling lanes, whatever. Revel in your ability to have an amazing time, no men needed. You can also catch a movie together, play party games or have an indoor picnic. You will be surprised at what a gala time you can have even without any romantic interest. Those parties were actually the most fun party I ever celebrate with my single girls friends!!

3. Good acts

Giving is the fastest way to feel good about yourself. So show your love on those who really need it, and there are everywhere so many people in this condition nowadays! Visit a hospital, an orphanage or old age home and meet with people who have none to care for them. Show up at a children's hospital with a load of toys, books and games.
It is best to contact the hospital authorities beforehand and prearrange your visit to avoid any embarrassment later.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, even a single hand picked flower will do. Anything coming from the heart will surely be felt and appreciated. It’s two gifts in one. One is for the recipient and even a bigger gift for you. You can bring along flowers and candy or gifts. This is will touch and bring so much joy and the warmth of love to them and also to you. You will feel as much pleasure in giving gifts to the less fortunate as they themselves will.
I did this for years with friends and family: so many wonderful memories of LOVE out of it!!

4. Send Valentine’s cards to all you friends
You can also send Valentines to all the people on your Christmas card list. Send a heartfelt Valentine Card to someone who has really inspired you and tell him or her how much they mean to you. 
 You can also make a homemade Valentine Card and send it to your favorite relative you haven’t seen in a while. Everyone enjoys a jolt of cheer in the middle of dreary February.
Well you can sign your name or be a secret Valentine’s to warmth the ego of all of them keeping them wondering who’s the secret admirer. Make sure that nobody of them is having a jealous partner next to them!! Or just sign your name and write to them how much they are worth to you!! Celebrate the love in your life with all the people you care about it: how wonderful is that?? Even e-cards will do.
6.  Be Secret Valentine’s of someone who needs it

Think of someone you know who's been in the doldrums lately and leave a secret Valentine's Day care package on his or her doorstep. Something as simple as a bottle of wine or a bunch of flowers and some chocolate can turn someone's whole day around.
You’ll be surprise to see how much joy it will bring to you too.
And let’s not forget that the world is a better place if everyone is happier!!

7. Celebrate yourself

If you do not have a partner, seize this day with gusto! Do something incredible for yourself. Do something that is personally nourishing and nurturing. Be your own Valentine: buy yourself those shoes or dress (or suit if you are a man) or anything else you can't get out of your mind, something you really desire. Take the day off work and spend it doing whatever you like to do most - even if it's absolutely nothing.
Give yourself some credit for how amazing you are and treat yourself to something special like a mani-pedi, a new necklace, or a blowout at the salon, a facial or a day in SPA. Make a nice dinner for yourself and be happy to be the great person that you are, to have your health, your family, your job or anything else you can think of and that makes you happy!! Rent a handful of movies of your ultimate celebrity crush and treat yourself to an eye-candy marathon. Love yourself and celebrate yourself.
Nobody will love you if you don’t love yourself first!!

8. Cheer Someone Up
If you know of someone or a family going through a rough path and through a difficult time, like a divorce or a loss, or got fired, just decide to send them a Valentine’s card, some flowers of chocolate and a message that state how much you care about them and give them your best wishes for a brighter future. Or make a Valentine’s Basket and send it to them and sign it, “From Your Guardian Angel”. This will cheer them up and it will give you also the chance to admit to yourself that you are doing great since you didn’t needed to be cheered up that way!!
To cheer up a friend of a family member will give you so much joy that you’ll be happy yourself for the whole day on Valentine’s day!!
You can also decide to send flowers or candy to someone who doesn’t have a sweetheart, and sign it anonymous. It will make him or her happy and so will you for your act of give joy!! 

9. Make a little one happy
While everybody around will be celebrating their love as a couple there are some people that are always left over: the little ones. Be their Valentine’s and make their day special.
Take your little niece, nephew, or cousin out for ice cream, or a nice dinner or rent a movie and watch it with them. They will never forget this occasion and so will you.
With my niece Valentina
With my nephew Alessandro
And if you are a single parent with kids just celebrate Valentine’s Day with them: you’ll have a special day and so will they. Remember it’s about love not couples and who gives you more joy than your own kids?? 
So just do stuff they love and you’ll be so happy to see their happiness!! Cook a nice dinner with them, a cake, prepare the table nicely, make all kind of heart pink shape things for the house and the table and then make them dress nicely for the occasion. They will feel so special to be your Valentine’s. And if you can have the whole day with them doing special Valentine things together make sure to let them know that you are celebrating love for each other. Buy flowers for them and make them do the same for you!! You can start a few weeks in advance and make with them special cards and treats for each other. Fun can be also to prepare with them specials baskets or bags with chocolate and flowers for a hospital, an orphanage or old age home and deliver them on Valentine’s Day.
They will never forget such a day and will know that LOVE is such a precious gift to receive and to give!!
10. Organize a Secret Admirers gifting sash, à la Secret Santa
You still can have your Valentine’s card and present and get it sent to your house!! You and a group of friends can buy presents, like chocolates, flowers, and teddy bears or anything else you like, and draw names and then deliver those items to each other. That way everyone can have a Valentine...and a card and a memory for years to come!!
So if you are single find your own way to celebrate love in your life on Valentine’s Day!! 
We all have so much love all around us and it’s time to celebrate it. At Valentine's Day we should say "I love US", and US is ourself and all the people we love in our life!! We don’t need to be in a relationship to celebrate love and to be happy:  we should be  happy to be us, all the rest will come when the time is right! For now we should just love the love we already have in our life, all around US!!
Let's keep give love and, like a boomerang it will always come back at us!!
Stay tune for my next BLOG for more celebration of LOVE!!
Love always,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ten romantic ideas to celebrate love!!

Dear friends,

Just two weeks to go for Feb 14, Valentine's Day.
Well it’s the festival of love and romance and a splendid opportunity to spend some quality time with our true love.
I personally I think that Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and love is something we all feel also for family and friends. So it’s not only about people in a relationship. It’s for all of us lucky to have a lover, a family and dear friends. For all of us!! I personally always celebrate Valentine's Day with everybody and have a great time with my sweetheart.
Well if you know me you know already that I sing about love and my shows are about love. I definitely love LOVE!! So my February BLOG posts will be dedicated to love!! 
I start today with ten romantic ideas that I did use to build some romance in my relationship with my special someone at Valentine's Day!! 
Try it too if you like any and feel free to let me know your ideas too, here on my blog: good ideas are always welcome!!Let's the celebration for love begin!!

1. Create a LoveFacebook

A splendid idea on Valentine's Day is to open your heart to the person you love and let know your feelings for him or her. An easy way to do this would be to create a "LoveFacebook". I guess we all have already one so you know that you can sign up for a free account and within minutes you'll have a page dedicated to you and lover. Keep it focused on romance with weekly or daily love notes, romantic poems and photos. You can even add a romantic love song that he/she loves very much in your 'LoveFacebook'. That way he/she will get to listen to her favorite song whenever he/she visits the page! If you both are private persons and don't like to let the world know about your relationship, you can sure make the page private. I did it and it’s my secret loveplace with one one friend!!!

2. Send an e-Card

You may have doubts whether sending an e-card will not be an impersonal way of communicating with the one you love. But trust me, this is a great way to add a little romance for someone special on a special day. Browse the various free e-card sites, one of my favorite, for a romantic e-cards ranging from the funny to the poetic and passionate. It is even better if you can send a personalized message with your card and sites like DeepestFeelings lets you do that. Put in a bit of thought to your message and rather than ending it casually, think deep and write from the heart . I’ve been doing this for a while, and also getting it back…it’s always so romantic and even if I know I’ll going to get one…well I’m always so looking for to get it with so much joy and expectation!!

3. Make a Video

Another splendid idea is to make a short video declaring your love. If you have a camera phone or a webcam at your disposal, you can easily make a video and upload it online in sites like YouTube for free. You can then send a link via email to him/her to check out your valentine video! If you don't like a public declaration of your love, you can keep it personal and have a private viewing of your video with your love one. It’s romantic personal and inexpensive!! And you can keep it and watch it back forever!  So much fun for years to come!!

4.Buy roses for your love

This one is especially for men, even if I think it's very romantic and unusual if done by a woman. Buy a dozen roses for your sweetie; hide them in different places in the house. Invite her/him to you place if she/he doesn’t live with you or just do it when she/he gets home from work if she/he does.  Hand over a rose to her/him as soon as she/he arrives. Attach a note to it informing her/him where to find the next rose. This should be the case with each rose and the last one should lead her/him to you  and by then have in your had a nice present.
I always say that it’s not the value of the present that makes the present…is the way you give to your love one!! So even a small thing will make a huge impression if done with love and if is personalized!! At least it is for me always!! Thereupon, treat her/him to a sumptuous dinner cooked by you at home or to a nice romantic restaurant!!

5. Candle-lit dinner

Treat your honey to a romantic dinner by candlelight. That doesn't mean you don't have to take your sweetheart to a posh restaurant and spend a lot a money, if you like that just do it. But you can also arrange your own candle-lit dinner at home. Cook up a splendid dinner together. Even a simple pasta would work; buy dessert from the bakery in the grocery store. Set the table, create a romantic atmosphere with candles, sweet snacks and wine. Have soft romantic music playing in the background, and dim the lights so that it's mostly the candles lighting the room. Then dress up and "attend" the dinner walking up to the table hand in hand with your love. You'll be amazed how much more fun it gives to have a candle-lit dinner at home. Once dinner is over, you can dance slowly to your song and then watch a romantic movie together. I’m always in places with many people around, so this is one of my favorite way to spend my special day ; just with the two of us!!

6. Prepare a dessert

This one is especially for us ladies, but hey nowadays some men cooks better than us!! Invite your honey and treat him or her  to a dessert dish. Find out about the favorite dessert of your partner if you don’t know it yet and prepare it yourself on Valentine's Day. Even if it doesn't turn perfect and your cooking skills don't prove amazing, he or she will be pleasantly surprised and love you for your serious attempt. It’s about love not about food. Right?? I was lucky a few times in making a nice cake, some other times not that much…but still it was fun and romantic…and something to talk about and to remember forever!! On the picture here you see my favorite cake "Tiramisu" I'm very good in making it, but a few years back, one of the first time I made it, it turn out so liquid that we called it "Tirami Soup"!!  But hey we still remember it and talking about!!

7. Balloons in the car

Sneak into your sweet one's car while he/she is busy at work and fill it with roses and balloons up to the roof. Also leave a note inside telling how much he/she means to you. Got this one too….loved it and I will never forget it!!

8. Walk on the beach

This one is for the lucky ones living somewhere where the weather in February is nice. Or if you are on vacation in a tropical place for valentine's Day!!
Take a ride to a nice quiet beach at sunset and park your car nearby. Take your partner's hand and take a stroll along the beach bare foot, watching the sunset together.  Stay awhile after the sunset and enjoy the sight and sound of the waves crashing into the shore, and the water of the see on your feet. Look up at the starry sky and feel the magic of the universe. I was few years back on vacation on Valentine’s Day on a tropical place and this romantic night is still my memory like it had happen yesterday!! You can follow this one with my next suggestion, just like I did.

9. Have a beach-dinner

Treat your love to a candlelit dinner under the stars, preferably to the accompaniment of some music playing off somewhere in the background. There is nothing more romantic than a dinner under the stars!!
You can arrange this also near a lake or a pond also so romantic. In this case to top it all, you can rent a small boat and row it after dinner to go out to the middle of a lake and watch the stars.

10. Love "Post it"
Leave "Post-It" notes with special messages hidden all over the house for your lover to find when they least expect it. Hide them in a pair of pants they have in the closet, inside every pair of shoes, under things, inside books they read, inside folded towels they will use, in the car, taped inside the fridge, on the telephone, in the sugar bowl, etc. It may take them days to find them all and they will love every one. I do this a lot and I love it....I have a long love relationship with post it!! Who knows me well knows it!! LOL

My idol, great French singer Edith Piaf, used to say: “Without love we are nothing”…so let’s celebrate love not only on Valentine’s Day but everyday of our life!!

And  stay tuned for my next week BLOG with more ideas to celebrate love!! And don't forget to send me here your suggestions if you have any!! Love is in the air!!

Love always,