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?

KASIA

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How to become New Yorker in one day.

Tips to fake it!!!. Grab a coffee and take some notes:

FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT!

If you want to really become a New Yorker I got some tips for you which instant game you need to play. Don’t be shy about it everyone was new to New York one time. I can tell you with unshakable confidence that Manhattan can be excitedly amazing if you know how to blend in.yellow-cabs-1

Welcome to the world of high energy, excitment, intense pace of life, random sex –city that is always open to big dreams, opportunities and competitive ambition. I have lived in New York City for almost 24 years, and consider myself New Yorker at heart.

NEW YORK

The city is like overwhelmed foster mother on steroids to all diverse immigrants from all cultures that never sleeps. Everyday it welcomes the world embracing equal opportunities to all. Everyone here has its chance to shine through hard work, persistence, passion in creating their own unique destiny.  Its residents always rise and fall on large dozes of Starbucks coffee. New York mentality of work hard and play even harder sums up the lifestyle of those who are hungry to claim the social ladder and are ready to run over each other. There is no precise schedule to do anything. If you desire to have pizza or ice cream at 1am you can appreciate having access to the best of things around the clock.

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As much as you may hate the city on any given day, you would hate even more the thought of living elsewhere. It is often said that New Yorkers are rude, and not carrying about one another but I think what people mean by that is that New Yorkers are more direct.

CHANEL 9People on the street will often comment and ask,  “Where do you color your hair? I have the same dress and bag as you. How much did you pay? If they don’t like the way you treat your children be sure they will reprimand you. And if you try to cut in the front of somebody in check out line you will be swiftly put back into your place”

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As much as New Yorkers want to correct you they are also willing to help. There is a theory that living in NYC when disaster strikes creates an instant bond and solidarity among the people. I know when I m about to reach a breaking point searching for a place to fall. But when I return to New York, I realize I couldn’t possibly live anywhere else.

New Yorkers do not look up ever, they always rush catching taxi or clinging to a pole in the subway. They play the game down when passing celebrities and stars as regular folks.

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They kill cockroaches with their bare hands while accidently stepping on the rats. People will do anything to get attention.  Everybody has a story. They express themselves through flamboyant fashion, excessive excising, shopping, fine dining, street dancing, and singing while itching for romantic joie de vivre. NY has more to offer culturally than almost any other city in the world. It’s useful to learn how to distinguish and smoothly maneuver between central Park South, West, “Uptide” Uptown and trendy downtown.

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Equip yourself with a pair of comfortable shoes, as you will be doing most of the cross long  walking within those chic neighborhoods. And while you march through the streets don’t ever open your big city map disclosing your tourist’s status.

The key to keep Manhattan’s  sane balance and fulfill your huge innovative ambition of being a real New Yorker is to glue big sincere banana smile on your face, avoid cultural misunderstandings and learn to expect efficient attentive service, pleasant attitudes everywhere.

NY is a magnet of stress, hypertension and super fast pace. In order to cope with it all you need to understand some basics and you will be having the last “Big Apple” laugh!

P.S. As always I wold like to hear from you how you fake YOUR WAY TO become a New Yorker? Share your tips…

Outfits:

Gucci beige tailored dress

Gucci speedy bag

D-Square open toes brown lizard pumps

Roberto Cavalli blue printed dress

Chloe ivory sleeveless top

Akris navy blue A-line skirt

Bottega Veneta hot pink bag

KASIA

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KASIA

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Endless Reasons You Must Visit Villa San Michele in Florence, Italy

Are you ready to be whisked away to paradise this summer?

Travel with me to explore the incredible Villa San Michele, a luxury boutique hotel former  15th century Franciscan monastery located just minutes off city of Florence, Italy.1006026_10201767829102619_960279298_n

This is where Michelangelo’s facade and panoramic breath taking views from hilltop across Florence will take your breath away! The Villa San Michele hit 500 years old birthday celebration this year. They had me at hello as soon as I entered the gates.

There are endless reasons why this hotel is going to be on the top of your list for places to stay in Florence. Tucked away on a hillside, this is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The old world ambiance combined with expansive views of the city of Florence is truly a unique and special experience. 1002850_10201767862783461_1643421247_nThe hotel is decorated with antique Italian art that really immerses you in the Italian history and culture. It offers a choice of spacious rooms, suites and villas to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The staff truly cares about you and will do everything they can to make your stay the best it can possibly be.villa+

If you are like me big connoisseur of cuisine  you can learn how to master your cooking from the best local chefs. In a short time through their culinary school you too can create first class delicious meal. I signed up for 3 hours of hands on cooking class.chef

The aromas of finest fresh Italian ingredients and personal attention from the executive chef Attilio Di Fabrizio and you too feel like a cooking pro for a day. He will help you to discover the best Italian and Tuscan cuisine can offer with step by step lessons on preparing main dishes and desserts. Then you will have an introduction to food and wine paring and eat lunch at Loggia Restaurant. Make sure to check out the restaurant, even if you are not participating in a cooking class. If cooking isn’t your forte, you can take a gourmet tour offered by the hotel, tasting your way through Tuscany trying specialties made with truffles and Tuscan wines.1075740_10201767870863663_396093425_n

Another highlight of staying at the Villa San Michele is the ability to dine at Loggia Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Florence, just a step away from your hotel room. The quality of the food is outstanding and the service is impeccable. If you are looking to taste authentic Italian and Tuscan food, this is the place for you. The restaurant has spectacular views over the city rooftops of Florence, engaging you in the true culture of Italy. There are also three other restaurants and bars right in the hotel where you can wine and dine anytime!16567_10201767839182871_1313575839_n 481076_10201767874943765_1490162678_n

If you’d rather see the sights, you could take private rowing lessons on the Arno River, floating down the waterway, seeing the city from a different perspective. Or embark on a treasure hunt to find hidden gems at some of Florence’s most famous sights, including the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo and the Michelangelo sculpture of David. They even have a heated pool and a massage gazebo to relax those muscles at the end of the day. Villa San Michele will help you to enjoy your vacation no matter what you want to do!64417_10201767880463903_1750271038_n

If you are looking for a place to hold a party, or business conference in Florence, Villa San Michele would be the perfect venue. For the ultimate party – take over the whole hotel for a night your guests will never forget. Your business conference will become a classy night out when you host it in the elegant Loggia Restaurant. You can even have an intimate wedding ceremony in the quiet and lush Italian Garden. It doesn’t matter if you go on business, or just for pleasure, you will leave Villa San Michele feeling rejuvenated and ready to head back to everyday life.

So what are you waiting for? Get on a plane and get to Villa San Michele as fast as you can! I guarantee that this will be a trip you will remember for a lifetime!

Have you ever stayed at the Villa San Michele? I want to hear all of your comments and questions about this amazing resort!

Check out their website here to book your visit: http://www.villasanmichele.com/web/ovil/villa_san_michele.jsp

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KASIA

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Who Really Discovered America?

In elementary school we learned that “in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue”, but is it possible that our teachers left out some details on who actually discovered America?

Christopher Columbus

Sure, Christopher Columbus is the most famous explorer to have landed on the shores of the Americas, but was he first and why is the land not named after him? People like when stuff is named after them – the human race is kind of narcissistic in that way. We donate lots of money to build a library – we want the building named after us; so I’m pretty sure if you found a never-before-discovered land, you’d want that named after you too.

Amerigo Vespucci

The reason it’s not called Columbia (or something down that road) is because in 1497 an Italian explorer by the name of Amerigo Vespucci came to the land; and because news had not yet arrived that Columbus was actually there first, he had a mapmaker name it America after himself.

As far as who landed here first (besides the natives because they technically did not land here), there are tons of theories. That is what is so great about this question – there is no rock solid answer.

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Some historians believe that Egyptians could have been here first, backing up their theory with findings of similarities between pre-Columbian architecture found here and that of the ancient Egyptians. Others argue that Norse explorer Leif Ericson landed on the eastern shores of America circa AD 1000, while still more theorize that the Chinese, Japanese, and Polynesians all beat Columbus by reaching the west coast years before he ever set sail.
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So, who is the real discoverer of America? The answer is: who knows!? Got any research or knowledge you’d like to share? Let’s hear it! Who do you know/believe really discovered America?

Your fashion guru,

Kasia

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KASIA

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Travel in Style with Durable Luggage

Oh the places you’ll go… as long as you’ve got the right bags, of course! You are both stylish and durable (in a sense), right? So why shouldn’t your luggage be the same!? Check out these brands that are known around the world as the best.

Lipault

Lipault Paris is known for its lightweight luggage options. Its foldable soft shell bags boast that they “add 0% excess weight and space to your travels”. With the high fees and extreme weight/size limitations these days, lightweight baggage is a huge advantage! Check out their collections here at http://www.lipault-us.com/.

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Rimowa

Rimowa Germany is among the top manufacturers of luggage in Europe. Valuing durability, their hard shells are always sleek and chic while providing your luggage with excellent protection from certain airport staff who may not “handle with care”. They’ve even combined the hard and soft concept in some of their hybrid styles. Check out all their styles and looks here at http://www.rimowa.de/main/langselect.

Tumi

Taking pride in their variety of collections, Tumi has the luggage for any occasion – in any style, I might add. They’ve got everyday collections like wallets and handbags, business collections including briefcases and the like, and your typical travel collections with duffels and suitcases. Check out their entire collection here at http://www.tumi.com/home/index.jsp.

What’s your favorite brand of luggage? I personally like Tumi just because of its versatile selection. They always have what I’m looking for!

Your fashion guru,

Kasia

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KASIA

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