What is AMORE Journey?

AMORE stands for A Mother Of Reinvention Each and Every Day, and the Journey is the path we take to get there.

My website and blog were created for all women who nurture, not just moms. It is for women of all ages in search of reinvention, rejuvenation and the pursuit of happiness.

Read “slice of life” blog posts that hope to inspire you, make you smile or shed a tear. Take a look at AMORE Moments to learn about women like you who are doing extraordinary things each and every day by stepping out of their comfort zone.  You may even recognize yourself.

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Recent Posts

AMORE Moments: Sit In Her Chair And Explore Endless Possibilities

Ever since Mary Battaglia of Oradell started researching ways to help her sleep, she always kept what she learned about hypnosis in the back of her mind. Seven years later, as a clinical hypnotherapist and owner of Metro Hypnosis Center, Battaglia now dedicates her life to helping others live life to the fullest.

On any given day, Battaglia invites clients to sit in her big comfortable recliner — a focal point in her Oradell office — that she uses to make clients feel at ease and open to hypnosis. In her first meeting with them, Battaglia explains that hypnosis is a natural, altered state and holistic approach to feeling good and working through problems.

Once her client is in a state of hypnosis, Battaglia guides him or her through a relaxation process and helps them explore their subconscious mind to find out what is preventing them from making changes. Once those roadblocks are identified, Battaglia helps them clear those negative beliefs they have about themselves so they can live the life they want.

Mary knows first-hand what positive outcomes hypnotherapy can have, even more than helping her sleep through self-hypnosis. “(Hypnotherapy) opened a new door to a new me. With hypnosis, I began to feel more confident in many aspects of my life. It helped give me the courage I needed to change careers and fulfill my life’s dream of helping people.“

Equally important is how she saw her sister battle cancer with positive thinking and visualization, two components of hypnosis. “I saw how her positive attitude increased her quality of life.”

While she works with clients on issues such as smoking cessation and weight loss, Battaglia focuses much of her work on medical hypnotherapy.  She works with individuals, doctors, oncologists, and medical facilities to educate them on how hypnotherapy can complement medical treatment. “Studies have proven that hypnosis can help with healing after surgery,” she says. “When you are stress free, it can also help with issues with blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid problems.”

If hypnosis is new to you and you want to learn more about Battaglia’s services, visit Metro Hypnosis Center’s Open House on November 20, from 5 pm – 8 pm.  Metro Hypnosis Center is located at 550 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 123 in Oradell. While you are there, sign up for a free workshop on self hypnosis that Battaglia will offer in the near future. You can also visit Battaglia’s website at www.metrohypnosiscenter.com  where you can find useful information as well as read her blog called “Come Sit In My Hypnosis Chair.”



AMORE Hugs: Her Bedroom

Too many times — too numerous to count — I have yelled out to Mackenzie:  “GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM.”  

I have appealed to her philanthropic side and tried to get her to think about those less fortunate: “GET YOUR CLOTHES TOGETHER FOR THE VIETNAM VETS. THEY’RE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.”  

And yes, I’ve even threatened her:  ”YOU’RE NOT LEAVING THIS HOUSE UNTIL YOUR ROOM IS CLEAN.”  

Sometimes she does surprise me.  Without saying a word, she will spend a few hours every now and then working on her room. When she is finished, her sanctuary begins to look livable again. Somehow it is not quite enough — the little girl’s room that shows signs of wear and tear still needs a a more complete transformation equal to her own.

And so it begins.


On a recent summer day, I started cleaning out Mackenzie’s room to get it ready for the much needed overhaul. Anything I could carry got moved into the living room, dining room and any nook and cranny I could find in time to start the project while she is away.

Photo by Mackenzie

As I prepare my 16 year old’s bedroom for its long overdue makeover, I feel her presence as I dust off shelves and tackle dust bunnies.

I start moving out her signs of years past, as well as her more recent art work, books and other things to make it easier for replacing trim and prepping for later painting. I hope she is pleasantly surprised to see how far I’ve gotten when she returns home.

I wonder what she is doing in Venice on this beautiful afternoon here in New Jersey. I miss her smiling face, but I know she is having an experience of a life time and is in good hands with Daniella and her family. That makes me happy.

I remember the day Mackenzie chose to move her bedroom downstairs, I think she was about 7 or 8 at the time. At first, I wondered why she would give up a room that was twice the size and hand it over to her older brother. Then I recall that she was afraid to be upstairs by herself.

That was a long time ago, and I’m not quite sure she would feel the same way today. I am certain, though, that I am glad to wake up each day with my girl in the next room.

The small cubby of a room seems a whole lot smaller since Mackenzie continues to collect new memories, discover her talents and explore new hobbies. She makes the best of the little space and never complains. It’s still her own space where she can share secrets, laugh with her friends, or find quite solitude.

I pick up each of her treasures lovingly as I box Mackenzie’s do-dads and chotchkas for safe keeping until the work begins. One lone Build-A-Bear and a stuffed dog sit on a top shelf. I wonder if they were left there intentionally when she packed the others away a few years ago.

I collect a little pink elephant and a ceramic one she made in art class, along with a tattered paper taped to her dresser that explains the symbolic meaning of such a majestic animal — strength, happiness, good luck, loyalty. I immediately think of her.

With one hand, I safely move an antique lamp with a mismatched lampshade she asked to keep when we were cleaning out my parents’ house. In my other hand are two small carved bears playing chess — a Christmas gift given to my dad one year.

There are also reminders of recent months gone by — photos from New York City with her friend, Emily, and the rest of her gang, teenage jewelry and makeup. A few used concert tickets and NYC subway Metrocards are strewn across her dresser.  They all have to go for now.

I pick up a pair of my earrings that have made its way to her room, but its OK. At the same time, I check out another pair that I think I’ll borrow one of these days. I like that we share some of our prized possessions.

I carefully remove the photos that adorn the walls. There’s more shots of friends and family, her favorite places, and the black and white “artsy” ones she took this past school year.

There are souvenirs from a recent school trip that go into a clear box.  I must admit, they look a little out of place in their current location. In a few weeks, the Peruvian crafts will fit in nicely when she completes her room makeover.

I package up the box of SAT vocabulary flash cards and “to do” lists that show Mackenzie’s more serious side. There are tubes of paints and blank canvas that get moved to the dining room table, two old cameras, and a small soft cover called “An Artist’s Guide to Choosing an Art School.” Just where has the time gone, I ask.

I think about her cotton candy pink room and how it will soon be transformed into a new sanctuary. Before the school year starts, Mackenzie’s room will come to life with a fresh coat of paint she’ll choose when she returns home. I’m looking forward to tackling that project together.

I think about discarding some of Mackenzie’s treasures — with a “she’ll never know” attitude since I know it will be easier to put the room back together again with less clutter. I stop because I simply can’t do it. The treasures are hers and hers alone.  I’ll wait for her to make those choices and hope she can part with some of them.

I close the door with a final glance. My eye catches the Native American “dream catcher” she has tied to her bed post. I hope that stays just where it is as her reminder to follow her own path. I’m happy Mackenzie is already doing so, and wonder where her new dreams will take her.

I’m looking forward to having those conversations — in her new room, of course.


AMORE Moment: This Local Artist Shows Signs Of A Different Time

Katherine Ippoliti, a successful commercial artist for more than 30 years, recently stepped out of the digital business world to pursue a whole new universe that is bringing new found creativity to her fingertips. On her latest journey, she is exchanging her e-tools for some of the more basic ones to make art reminiscent of a different era.

Using a hammer and nails, as well as an organic solution, Katherine weathers planks of wood to produce large — and unusual — hand painted signs.  “I create works of art that have a feel of the something you might have seen at a New Jersey boardwalk in the Fifties or Sixties, or even hundreds of years ago,” she explains.

Take Tillie, one of Katherine’s latest works, and a throwback of a different time. Tillie is now being featured in a gallery/interior design store in Beach Haven.

“Tillie measures 36 inches high. When you look at him, he is grinning and welcomes you to buy tickets for a ride on the boardwalk. You would never see anything like him among the neon signs and bright lights you see today,” she adds.

Katherine’s switch to this new medium has been a gradual one. After graduating from the University of Delaware in the Eighties, she left for New York City immediately to work in the advertising business.

At a time well before the Computer Age, her first job was in an advertising “bull pen” where she was assigned any number of assignments from drafting mechanicals to hand-drawn concept boards. “Everything was hand drawn, even the type face” she remembers. “It gave me an appreciation for the art of typography because it required a good eye, a steady hand and design expertise. “

From there, Katherine worked her way up to other jobs in advertising, and ultimately landed her plum job as a creative director in broadcast advertising. She travelled the world producing commercials until she realized she wouldn’t be able to keep up the fast pace with the anticipation of raising a family.

Once Katherine moved to Oradell, she gave up the long City commute and worked for a variety of ad agencies in Bergen County. After her boys were born, she started her own successful design business to give her a more flexible schedule producing annual reports, brochures, and creating other marketing material for a number of business clients.

A few years ago, Katherine was asked to design and create branding and logos for the Art of Cake Bakery, located in Oradell.  The shop owner also asked her to create an interior sign with the likeness of an old Parisian bake shop and Katherine went to work. “After accepting this challenge, I realized  how much I loved this lost art form and I haven’t put down my paint brush since.”

She currently is working on a few commissioned signs for homes in the area. As people begin to learn about her craft, she hopes to get more projects in the near future.

In addition to her aged signs, Katherine is also using her weathered wood for her newly painted frescos that one might find in an old world church setting. These frescos remind Katherine of her childhood summers spent visiting family in Italy.

Most days, you can find Katherine in her studio for hours at a time. “I get lost in my work, and spend hours perfecting my craft.” She is happy and where she wants to be.

When asked if she has given up on the digital world, Katherine says there is a place for her computer in her free-lance business assignments.  “It’s nice to take a break from the computer,” she says. “I feel a little less stressed and a lot more free,” she explains. “And now I choose the business projects I get involved with.”

To learn more about the Beach Haven gallery where Katherine’s art is now displayed, go to www.seawallartifacts.com. You can also contact Katherine at signcraftart@gmail.com