Looking for Heroes with John Quinones

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I will admit I can be a sucker for the extraordinary. More importantly, I appreciate the broader message of what this word stands for: unbridled, openhearted expression. Seven-time Emmy Award winner John Quinones, the extraordinary host of the very popular ABC show “What would you do?” graciously joined me for a candid conversation with cameras rolling, and in just one conversation this brilliant man quickly became my hero.

With the tables turned it was my chance to pick his mind. We discussed the show, his humble upbringing, life in general and formula for success while I teased him with my delicious, self-made, raw organic chocolates. It was clear from the moment we began, his insistence and compelling attitude doesn’t just draw viewers in to his program but quickly leads them to develop an integral connection with him. His program provokes a true representation of our world today by creatively providing us with heart warming stories that push limits, exposing our pitfalls and careless behaviors. And while some of us fall victim to destructive and addictive behaviors that can harm others and ourselves, “What would you do?” portrays these scenarios with hired actors on screen that direct us to see the work we must do on ourselves in order to make a difference.

Through an ever-changing environment and new circumstances, the show creates necessary conditions to evoke an intervention in even the most conscientious people. The unraveling of these situations on screen creates a turning point that allows us to open our eyes and praise the true heroes in each story. We are then provided with a better understanding of human nature and can see a glimpse of hope for change in the future.

I must confess Mr. Quinones hypnotized me with his impressive, eloquent story telling of his journey and life experiences. It was obvious he is a passionate man filled with wisdom to share and my veneration for him had me hanging on to every word he spoke.

Covering every corner of visionary journalism for the past 30 years with ABC, John Quinones has influenced millions of people from all over the world. His impactful messages have led us to react and rush to rescue those in need. In the face of obstacle, Mr. Quinones does not give up. Some tasks test limits and go beyond the strength of an ordinary man, but John Quinones is no such thing. When confronted with issues of racism, domestic violence or injustice, we quickly learn how divided and ignorant we can be but the origins of the most fantastic, educational and courageous stories captured by hidden cameras come from his dedication to accomplishing everything he sets out to do. By displaying every angle of these adventurous tales, we have seen the touching messages each one holds and the new ways we can confront life.

While I’m all for celebrating wins and focusing on the positive, my talk with Mr. Quinones taught me how vital it is that we don’t feel shame about our mistakes or missteps either. We must learn not what people around us consider good or bad, but to act in life as our conscience bids us. From the mouth of John Quinones, “Do not do to others what you would not wish them to do to you.” I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn more about John Quinones and his life and intriguing work, and I must admit it was one of the best interviews I have had to date.

I salute you, Mr. Quinones. And I look forward to watching more of your inspiring and uplifting  “What would you do?” episodes in the near future.

KASIA

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you what and who inspires you? Do you have or know a hero? Share your comments, stories and suggestions with the rest of us.

 

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Must visit Castiglion del Bosco Salvatore Ferragamo in Tuscany

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Every year I look forward to the first day of autumn with its crisp air and fashionable earth tones parading throughout Manhattan. But these satin mustard trousers and orange blouses don’t fall from trees as the leaves do – it is my job to find them and there is nothing I love more than a business trip (to shop for you, of course).

But after searching every inch of Europe to bring you the best designer deals just in time for New York Fashion Week, I found myself exhausted and in need of a reboot. Just as I began to wonder where I would find my relaxation, I stumbled upon a beautiful Tuscan countryside estate, Castiglion del Bosco. It was calling my name.

Before returning to the US at one of busiest times of the year for us fashionistas, I felt it was important to make sure I was arriving in the right state of mind. And my new discovery was more than a coincidence! It had been a busy month and I knew September would be far from stress-free. What could be the best ending to my August euro trip? Nothing less than a relaxing stay at a centuries-old estate offering a truly breathtaking landscape with a wildlife reserve, spa amenities and delicious organic food and drink. It was time to feel whole again in preparation for next season.

As a health educator, I know the importance of taking the time to truly care for oneself and Castiglion del Bosco covers all aspects of health including body, mind and spirit. A spacious terrace suite embraced me with open arms, and a warm atmosphere allowed for my rejuvenation fully adorned with class and style. Whether I was enjoying a scenic yoga class or cycling up the hills, every breath of the Italian air was healing. And the estate provided more than just breath taking views, and divine cuisine (although those alone are wondrous!). Castiglion del Bosco truly takes a holistic approach.

My favorite pursuit was a cooking class that was offered. Using only the finest raw ingredients, something I have grown accustomed to these days, I cooked a fresh pasta dish from scratch while tasting every juicy, organic vegetable along the way (oh, the temptation).

When I wasn’t cooking my own meal or eating at their impeccable restaurant, I was hunting for delicious truffles with highly trained experts and their canines – a first time experience I do not regret one bit! The genuine and natural flavors of all the food at Castiglion del Bosco were unlike any I’ve enjoyed before and were just what I needed, complete nourishment.

Simplicity is the theme of this hidden gem and it is maintained throughout the estate including the castle, church, and Borgo. Castiglion del Bosco is a place of “genuine living,” something they take pride in and what I see as truly beautiful. We all know how hard it can be fighting each day to survive in the fast-paced world we call home, but I urge any who have the ability to take some time out for you and enjoy a more simple, genuine life to recharge for the next season. Fall is almost here!

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you how do you recharge your batteries and what’s your favorite traveling destinations to do so?

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New York Fashion Week Begins in 3, 2, 1 …

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September 4th marks the first day of the beloved New York Fashion week and I couldn’t be more excited to be back in Manhattan. With some of the most notable designers, models and celebrities coming together at Lincoln Center, the air is filled with positivity and inspiration. In the words of Elle Goulding, anything can happen.

While some are excited for the unveiling of new silhouettes, fragrance, patterns and trends, I am filled with excitement for the release of new, fashionable tech accessories. A smart bracelet and self-charging iPhone case, please tell me more!

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As a lover of all things health and fashion I just had to have a Fitbit, so you could say I was more than excited when Tory Burch released her line of compatible jewelry (including a necklace, bracelet and band). Unfortunately, the July release turned out to be a “bit” disappointing with the lack of product quality. But coming from the rumor mill, those of us alike are in for a surprise, and hopefully it is one of superior quality.

Multiple designers have been collaborating with tech geniuses to prepare for NYFW 2014 and yes, they are set to release their new designs right on time. Take a deep breath. This is what I know:

Rebecca Minkoff has been working on a gold chain-link bracelet that doubles as a USB. Now you can accessorize while maintaining your mobile battery life. What’s not to like?

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Source: Colorado Newsday

Similarly, the word is Opening Ceremony and the wizards over at Intel will be displaying a bracelet on the catwalk this week too. The concept has been kept under wraps but I’m certainly intrigued. Is it Sunday yet?

One of my favorite designers, Vivienne Tam paired with Zeusé to create a self-charging iPhone case also to be released on Sunday. Seeing as mine recently broke, I cannot wait to see the new design. Let’s hope it hits stores quickly!

And while we are distracted by the buzz happening in New York, we mustn’t forget the west coast. Apple is unapologetically set to release their new technological innovation this week too, and I’ve been told it’s a watch.

Whether these so-called trendy, fashion tech accessories last a season or forever one thing is for sure, this is going to be an exciting week for both industries!

KASIA

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you which fashion gadget you are looking forward to put into some practical use? 

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Dress to impress on your First date

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What is the first thought that pops into your head when you hear the words “first date?” I often hear the phrase, “I have nothing to wear!”

Nerves aside, there is nothing quite like the rush you get before a first date. Your mind begins to race. What will you talk about? What will you order? When the check comes do you offer to pay? And before you know it, your plate of hypothetical questions is full.

You’re nervous for good reason, first dates are the foundation of a potential relationship. It can be a lot of pressure but follow these 5 simple rules and rest assured, your date will run smooth.

1Wear something comfortable. Of course you want to dress to impress but a first date is not the time to learn how to walk in sky-high heels. Unless you consider yourself a pro, my suggestion is choose another option, perhaps a kitten heel or wedge? This way you can focus on the conversation, not the pavement.

Now for clothing, comfortable doesn’t mean you should throw on a tank and sweats. Wear something that makes you feel relaxed, both physically and emotionally. Choose an outfit that always makes you feel confident and leave that new dress at home; do you really want to find out it is completely sheer in the restaurant’s lighting right across from your date? And be sure the outfit doesn’t just look good standing. You want to feel comfortable whether you’re sitting, standing or taking a long, romantic after-dinner stroll.

2Leave a little mystery. Yes, you do want to show some skin but not enough to make you look like your date’s escort for the evening. Keep it classy. Show off a little leg or cleavage but not simultaneously. You don’t want to portray an image of something you are not. Reveal just enough to gain his attention and leave him wanting more.

3. Dress for the occasion. Everyone loves a good surprise but will you enjoy that Broadway show in your ripped jeans and booties? Or will you miss the first act because you were too focused on that dress you wish you had worn instead? Don’t let the location of your first date be a surprise. Try to find out where you are going and Google the dress code. You will thank yourself later.

4Feel beautiful. No matter what you choose to wear, make the decision to feel beautiful. If you feel attractive and amazing your date will take notice, trust me. Be confident and you won’t just feel hot, you’ll look hot! Soon you’re going to have more first date offers than you can handle.

5Be yourself. The last and most important rule is simple, just be yourself. If someone else doesn’t like you for who you are, then that person is clearly not right for you. Don’t pretend to be anyone else but yourself because there are a lot of people out there who will love you for exactly who you are, nothing more and nothing less. Let that inner beauty shine through and show your true self, no matter what your style!

KASIA

Outfits:

Just Cavalli red dress

Giafranco Ferre red bag

Charlotte Olympia leopard print calfskin pumps

Biba red pant suit

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you what is your rule when you go on the first date? How do you dress, and behave? Share your comments, tips and suggestions with the rest of us.

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Denim that never goes out of style

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JEANS-7JEANS-8JEANS-11jeans-2jeans-1Will we ever get sick of denim? It all started as simple men’s work wear, and now it has become a modern day closet for practically everyone. Denim offers an endless variety of indigo washes, specialty fabrics, and every different silhouettes; the styling possibilities are endless. Denim has been transformed into shorts, skirts, t-shirts, jackets, and the rest is left for your imagination. They go with just about everything.

In my case, I could never get tired of denim, it’s a classic and it’s too fun. Denim has been versatile and useful throughout the years. It’s inspirational how it has evolved in the fashion world for the better.

In my wardrobe I have a denim Levi white jacket. I used to wear it back in the day for every occasion, but stopped using it because I thought it was old-fashioned and that no one wore denim jackets, I felt out of place. But I’ve given it a second chance. I use it with everything, just like how it was twenty years ago, with a fun played dress, with a pair of jeans, even with my exercise clothing when I leave the gym. It truly is a life savor.

Regarding jeans, I have countless pairs in every color. When you find the right fit for your bottoms, you need to have more! My favorite brand is AG by Adriano Goldsmith , and True Religion. I feel comfortable in them and the fit is just right. And if you need to explore your options I would highly recommend you give AG a  try. This is an amazing brand for every shape and size. They offer different cuts depending on your taste. Be careful; don’t let denim carry you away!

I also love my buttoned-up denim t-shirt. I can wear it with a pair of jeans (denim on denim), over my swimsuit, with a colored skirt, anything, and it never ceases to bore me. It’s such a classic look that it’s really hard to go wrong. You can wear it around your waist with a simple tank top, or on top of it unbuttoned. There are million ways of wearing it depending on your style and comfort zone.

Let’s make denim the “it” trend of summer!

Jeans:

Blue: 7 for all man kind 

red: Koral

White: True Religion

KASIA

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you what is your favorite jeans brand and style? Share your comments, tips and suggestions with the rest of us. 

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