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December 2014

Amy Purdy





Heidi Massin

Electrifying Houston PLUS! Anti-Aging & Beauty Offers Houston ciaobellamagazine.com

Get inspired.

Started my Camry. Rescued a dog. Searched for the owners. Uncovered a plot. Escaped with the evidence. Took a leap of faith. Left them all behind. Kept the dog.


The 2015 Camry. Our boldest Camry ever. toyota.com/camry Prototype shown with options. Production model will vary. Š2014 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

ciao bella!


14 On Her Own Two Feet

Get inspired.

Double amputee, Amy Purdy has been called a hero by Oprah Winfrey. The Team Toyota snowboarder won a Paralympic bronze medal and inspired the nation on Dancing with the Stars. With a non-profit, a new book and a clothing line launching soon, Purdy is proving there's nothing she can't do. Cover Photo Courtesy of Michael Scott Slosser

© 2013 by Ciao Magazine. Ciao Bella! Publisher andBella! Editor-in-Chief ® and Ciao Bella! Get Inspired ® are Registered Heidi Suprun Trademarks. All Rights Reserved. Ciao Bella!

reserves the Editors right to edit, reject or comment Assistant editorially all submitted Hollis Hoodon, Steve Wiley, material. We do not necessarily endorse views expressed in Michelle Leigh Smith the articles and advertisements, nor are we


responsible for the advertised products and Art Director/Graphic Designer services. Reproduction in whole or part without Tanya Bäck

permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

We welcome yourWriters ideas, articles and feedback. Contributing


Contact us atHelen info@ciaobellamagazine.com Ami Blackwell, Perry, Heidi Suprun or call 832.652.9268. Ciao Bella! is published and delivered monthly Photographers to Epicurean women-centric businesses and to homes The Publicist, Hollis Hood, Debbie in a two-month rotated circulation. Ciao Bella! Porter, Chinh Phan, Women in the World Media/ is also Abate, available digitally each month at www. Darren Eddie Perlas/ESPN Images, ciaobellamagazine.com. Courtesy of Naeem Khan, Harpo Studios/George Burns, Michael Scott Slosser, Anthony Rathbun, Kay Anderson, Women in the World/Marc Bryan Brown, Michelle Leigh Smith

Published by ciao bella! Magazine 4660 Beechnut, Suite 214 Houston, Texas 77096 Email: info@ciaobellamagazine.com

features 10 Toyota Honors Women

Toyota believes that women matter and are proving it with meaningful investments

Website and Digital Version: www.ciaobellamagazine.com


19 Heidi Massin: Electrifying Houston with Her Own Brand Of Music

The founder of the first and only “eco-friendly” record label in Texas is excited about the music industry

20 Dreaming Big with Debbie Porter

The successful photographer is Kickstarting her new dreams into action

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TO ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS OR EVENT in Houston's most targeted women's lifestyle magazine for intelligent, affluent, stylish and health-conscious readers, call ciao bella! at 713.825.5662 or email: ads@cioabellamagazine.

22 Naeem Khan at Fashion Houston

The designer to the stars received a Texas-sized ovation at Fashion Houston

departments 4 Must List Editor's Picks for Fashion, Food and Fun 6 Beauty Buzz Studio A Salon grand opening, beauty products and offers 18 Beauty Confessional Amy Purdy tells all 23 Books The Lagasse Girls' new cookbook and Art Therapy 24 Paparazzi Photos and Recaps of Recent Events

ciao bella! Get Inspired ® are Registered Trademarks. All Rights Reserved. ciao bella!

reserves the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all submitted material. We do not necessarily endorse views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the advertised products and services. Reproduction in whole or part without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback. Contact us at info@ciaobellamagazine.com or call 713.825.5662

“MUST” List!


The best places to go, things to see, products to try, and more!


BRING THE PARTY TO LOUISIANA! The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino Lake Charles is officially open! The $700 million gaming resort features 740 ultra-modern luxury hotel rooms and suites, a world-class spa and fitness center, a one-of-a-kind Vegas style pool, private beach front and marina. The innovative casino floor features 70 table games, a state-of-the-art poker room and 1,600 of the world’s newest slot machines. Choose to dine from seven Landry’s, Inc. signature restaurants and shop the latest styles at eight boutiques and gift shops. Five bar and lounge spaces provide non-stop entertainment 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. An 18-hole championship golf course premiers in April 2015. An 18,000 square-foot ballroom and 30,000 square feet of meeting space accommodate gatherings of all sizes and occasions. To book your stay visit www.goldennuggetlc.com.


Experience the spirit of the season at Hotel Contessa on San Antonio's famed River Walk! Nestled downtown (306 W. Market Street), the newly renovated, Hotel Contessa is the perfect choice to stay in San Antonio since its within walking distance of top historical, cultural and culinary attractions. Inspired by the modernism of Barcelona and the genius of Spain’s revered artists, such as Miro, Gaudi and Picasso, the urban and elegant 265 room, 12 story all-suite hotel celebrates San Antonio’s rich heritage. With its chic marble lobby with glass sconces, towering palm trees, dramatic water wall and picturesque views of the San Antonio River, it is a favorite among upscale travelers. Be pampered in the Woodhouse Day Spa, work out in the fitness center and relax outdoors in the heated, rooftop swimming pool. The award-winning Las Ramblas restaurant features authentic Spanish Mediterranean cuisine, while the hip Cork Bar offers an array of signature, hand-crafted cocktails and scenic outdoor patio. 10,000 square feet flexible meeting and event space make it a great option for your next festive occasion or corporate event. For reservations call 866-435-0900 or visit www.thehotelcontessa.com. To learn more about San Antonio visit www.visitsanantonio.com. Chinh Phan


Owners, Phyllis and Tony Mandola invite you to ring in the New Year at Tony Mandola’s (1212 Waugh Drive) with their traditional New Year’s Eve Prix Fixe Dinner accompanied by live music. Executive chef, Samuel Beier, has created the perfect four-course meal for this upscale coastal seafood kitchen that serves Cajun and Italian favorites. For good luck you’ll start the first course with cabbage and black eyed peas served family style. The following courses include mouthwatering selections. Choose from crab and crawfish bisque, seared bay scallops, cotechino, lobster fetuccini, proscuitto wrapped fillet, truffle lasagna and roast Tuscan guinea hen. Guests making a 10 p.m. or later reservation will receive party hats, favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Cost is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and may be made via OpenTable.com or call 713.528.3474. www.TonyMandolas.com. The Epicurean Publicist

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HOTEL ZAZA Celebrate New Year’s Eve ZaZa-style with cocktails, hors d’ouevres and midnight revelry with a live DJ! Hotel Zaza (5701 Main Street), the premier boutique hotel in Houston is an unexpected feast for the senses blending a convenient Museum District location with upscale amenities and modern décor. A la Carte party tickets are $75 per ticket with advanced purchase. The Room + Party Package starts from $495 and includes one night luxury accommodations, two tickets to the NYE Party, upgraded amenity and complimentary valet parking for one vehicle. Package is subject to availability. Call 713. 526.1991. www.hotelzaza.com


Sophia $375.

SJP COLLECTION Houston fans swooned when Sarah Jessica Parker visited Nordstrom Galleria this summer to show her SJP Collection which has really taken off since it launched in February. The star was recently spotted at the 2014 Fashion Footwear Association Of New York Awards wearing a black Delphine Manivet Couture dress paired Debbie Porter with the nude version of her ‘Carrie’ shoe. “Carrie is obviously one of my favorite people, and this is an ode to her,” explained Parker. “ It’s a strong shoe that can be worn for day and night. I love the way the strap dips down the front of the foot, accentuating the length of the leg and the delicacy of each strap.” A bit of grosgrain ribbon trim on each shoe pays tribute to Parker’s favorite childhood adornment and provides a signature finishing touch. The ‘Carrie’ and the ‘Sophia’ slingback are two classics you’ll want to add to your shoe wardrobe this season. www.shop.nordstrom.com.

Carrie $355

Body-Con Bling


A smattering of faceted jewels amid a sea of ivory sequins creates lavish visual texture on this bracelet-sleeve body-con dress styled with a feathertrimmed hem and an alluring opening back. Topshop. $495. Nordstrom.com. White Topshop Feather Hem Embellished Body-Con Dress

Sisters United for Africa promotes a trendy global fashion brand that supports non-profit causes including St. Monica’s Girls Tailoring School and Pros for Africa. Sisters United distributes handbags and goods hand made by young women in Uganda and South Sudan who were rescued from the tyranny of warlord Joseph Kony and his rebel army. The organization was founded by Rachelle Whitten of the U.S. and Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe of Uganda, a humanitarian who has rescued more than 2,000 girls and women from sexual slavery. Product sales provide jobs and hope for these young women. To shop, visit www.sistersunited.com. Learn more at www.sewinghope.com.


Alex + Ani has a unique bangle dangling from wrists across the country. Inspired by the work of Houston-based nonprofit Living Water International, the Living Water Charm Bangle ($28) from Alex + Ani’s Charity by Design collection is the lead seller in the philanthropic product line. Alex + Ani donate a portion of the proceeds from all Living Water Charm Bangle sales toward clean water projects led by Living Water International. The nonprofit is devoted to demonstrating divine love by providing communities in 25 countries around the world with desperately needed clean water. Hand made in Rhode Island with recycled materials, the bangle is covered in nickel-free Gold or Silver Rafaelian finish. The bright blue water droplet, known as the Living Water Charm, was created for daily reflection and is considered a symbol of compassion and healing. The bangle is expandable and fits every wrist size. Visit www.alexandani.com/charity-by-design and www.water.cc for more information. Photo credit: Debbie Porter

December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 5

beauty buzz

beauty buzz TONE ‘N TIGHTEN BY SKIN FITNESS Looking for a great way to lift and moisturize your delicate eye area this winter? Tone-N-Tighten Eye Cream  is a highly emollient, protective and soothing eye product that promotes tissue respiration and repair.   Key ingredients include  shea butter to protect moisturize and repair,  albumin to firm and tighten, retinol to renew  and hyaluronic acid  to increase moisture retention.  Tone-N-Tighten is also effective on the lips and upper lip area. Skin Fitness Therapy is a line of natural, organic, scientifically advanced correctives that calls upon the benefits of vitamins, fruit pulps, enzymes, and acids. The corrective ingredients encourage skin renewal  and a youthful, radiant complexion. Skin Fitness products don’t just sit on the skin...they totally transform it!  To shop visit www.skinfitnesstherapy.com.

Anthony Rathburn

STUDIO A SALON GRAND OPENING Studio A Salon rolled out the red carpet on December 2 to celebrate the grand opening of their chic new West U location at 2411 Sunset Blvd. Interior designer Margaret Naeve created the perfect “Euroclectic” luxury environment with inviting Italian leather massage shampoo chairs, 1920s antique Parisian mirrors and bold artwork from local artists. Well-known event planner Lily Paxson-Salinas, arranged the A-list affair which flowed onto the outdoor patio where the crowd mingled under a draped tent adorned with a glittering chandelier. Deejay Kittie spun the hottest mixes and sexy mood lighting set the tone, while guests sipped champagne and enjoyed signature cakes and macaroons paired with select wines from Dolce Delights. Hors d’oeuvres included votive glasses filled with ceviche and nopalitos salad catered by Cuchara and refreshing juice from Beat Box Blend Bar. A percentage of salon sales that night benefitted the nonprofit Friends Are By Your Side. Studio A Salon owner, David Armendariz, who has been referred to as “Houston’s color wizard,” by Allure magazine. and his talented team specialize in Balayage, INOA (ammonia-free color), precision haircutting, Hotheads Seamless Hair Extensions, styles for all occasions and makeup. On Wednesdays David offers blowouts for $35 ( reg. $50) and custom-blended hair treatments for $15 ( reg. $35 and up). Visit www.studioahouston.com or call 713.859.1591.

Maggie Flecknoe with Studio A Salon owner, David Armindariz. Photo credit: Anthony Rathbun.

Cindy Cook with daughter Courtney Cook. Photo credit: Hollis Hood Natalia Blachuta Photo credit: Hollis Hood 6 ciaobellamagazine.com | December 2014

The Perfect Holiday Gift Half Love Note, Half Makeup

Alcone Company started in 1950 as a pharmacy that also sold cosmetics and false eyelashes to Broadway showgirls and starlets. Alcone is still family-owned and is known by makeup artists and celebrities around the world as the place to get hard-to-find cosmetic gems at great prices. In 2012 Alcone combined their years of knowledge and experience to create a modern social-selling business called Alcone At Home that allows their artists to sell the makeup they use on location to women at home. Alcone at Home's Character Kits are the perfect holiday gift! Priced at $45.00 each the kit comes with three eye shadows in a travel palette and a lip gloss professionally curated to match individual personalities. Order before the end of December and Alcone will gift wrap the kit and include two free gifts. Contact professional makeup artist, Andrea Schutter Riebeling for more amazing gift ideas and to order. Host a makeup show and receive a FREE Travel Brush set (a $68.00 value)!

The Earth Kit

The Fierce Kit

Travel Brush Kit

To order call 832.816.1000 or visit www.alconeathome.com/fabulousflawless

Younique's #1 Best Selling Product

Fabulous & Flawless Hair and Makeup Â

Andrea Schutter Riebeling Celebrity Makeup Artist Younique's best selling product, 3D Fiber Lashes dramatically enhances and magnifies the appearance of your own lashes. A simple three-step process combines Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers to create the appearance of incredible thickness and volume for your existing lashes. 3D Fiber Lashes are water resistant but easily wash off with cleanser and warm water. It's sure to become your favorite makeup must-have! To order call Andrea Schutter-Riebeling 832.816.1000 or visit: www.youniqueproducts.com/ fabulousflawless


25 years Experience - Award Winning Special Occasions, Weddings, Celebrities Representing Alcone at Home & Younique Cosmetics


www.fabulousandflawless.com www.reelmakeupfx.com andreaschutter@gmail.com

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with your minimum purchase of $150.000 of makeup so you can create your "look" at home. A gift is included with this offer. (Makeup lesson is valued at $175.00.) December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 7

8 ciaobellamagazine.com | December 2014

Look Eight Years Younger In 8 Weeks L et's face it, even with the multitude of amazing benefits that come with aging (increased wisdom, self-confidence, inching closer to retirement), it's safe to say that none of us are in a hurry to welcome the other side-effects of Father Time, like wrinkles, uneven pigmentation or loose skin. "The good news is that no matter your complexion issue you can still win the anti-aging fight," said Dr. Derek C. Lou board certified plastic surgeon and medical director of Renew Body Contouring and Med Spa. "Skin that lacks volume can benefit from a few injections of soft tissue filler which will quickly restore fullness and offer a natural looking effect," said Lou. For faces that have become thin, wrinkled, drooping and discolored as a result of sun damage, smoking, poor diet, weight loss and weight gain, the The Fractotal is an ideal solution. This technology utilizes two skin rejuvenating treatments called Fractora and Forma. "Fractional lasers and photofacial treatments used to be the standard for treating these issues, but after experiencing the benefits of both Fractora and Forma, they are now my treatments of choice," said Dr. Lou.

HOW THEY WORK: Fractora is a fractional RadioFrequency (RF) device used to treat fine lines, deep wrinkles, scars, blood vessels, redness, texture and pigment issues. Fractora resurfaces the skin utilizing an array of microneedles to gently apply RF energy to the skin at varying depths. The device is passed over the entire face and neck (and body if needed), where the current begins to stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin. Fractora offers improvements for aging skin that would normally require up to four different technologies. Skin looks noticeably smoother, discoloration is minimized and skin tone and texture are improved. Forma is an unprecedented skin treatment that utilizes controlled RadioFrequency (RF) heating to refine sagging areas of the face, particularly on the cheeks, under-eye area, jaw line, neck and loose body skin. It differs from our other radiofrequency technologies such as Thermage and Fraxel in that the Forma applicator is constantly measuring skin temperature and automatically adjusting the energy levels to produce and maintain the ideal temperature for tissue contraction. This ultimately allows for a much greater degree of skin tightening, comfort and overall patient safety. THE IDEAL PATIENT: "All skin types and shades can benefit from these technologies," said Dr. Lou, " Although Fractora is not painless, patients should not

Katina Kearns and Dr. Derek Lou of Renew Med Spa

experience the same pain or questionable results often associated with Thermage and Fraxel. This program is the most advanced, non-surgical skin rejuvenation program I've worked with. It's a great choice for almost everyone." AFTERCARE: For the longest lasting results, Dr. Lou recommends patients undergoing one or both of the treatments partake in a preventative follow-up session every three months. "Fillers can be used for any additional volume loss following a treatment and Botox can serve as a way to protect and enhance wrinkle reduction," he added. CIAO BELLA! READER SPECIALS THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2015: The Fractotal Facial • Buy 2 Fractora treatments for $2,500 and receive 6 Forma treatments for FREE. ($4,300 value) Sculptra Aesthetic • The Liquid Facelift. Add volume to your face with results that can last up to two years! • Buy 1 Vial of Sculptra Get the 2nd at 50% OFF. ($400 Value) • Buy 3 Vials of Sculptra Get 1 Fractora Resurfacing Treatment or 6 Forma Treatments. ($1600 Value) • Buy 4 Vials of Sculptra Get 2 Fractora Resurfacing Treatments or 6 Forma Treatments for Face and Neck ($2500 Value) • Buy 5 Vials of Sculptra or More and Get the Fractotal for Free ($4300 value) Voluma The New longer lasting filler that lasts up to two years. Only $750 per syringe. Botox/Dysport • Buy 1 area of Botox or Dysport and get the second area for FREE! Oxygen Facial • Strengthens collagen cells, slows aging and builds cellular immunity. Only $99. ($160 value) * Ask about our Holiday Gift Card Specials that can save you big money and our new $99 monthly maintenance program that includes fun FREE services like laser facials and body wraps!

Call 713.893.5128 to schedule your appointment today! www.ReNewBodyContouring.com ReNew Body Contouring and Med Spa 1535 West Loop South, Suite 300, Houston Texas 77027 In the Page Parkes Building

December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 9


Honors Women Toyota Believes that Women Matter and You Can Take that to the Bank by Heidi Suprun


n the old days of marketing to women companies would ‘pink it and shrink it,’” said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Director of Traditional and Digital Media for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.. Colvin-Lovely who was named one of Advertising Age’s Women to Watch for 2014 says that “Toyota has moved into a deeper level of engagement with women.” With the knowledge that 80% of car purchases are made by or influenced by women, Toyota has been working deliberately for the past two years to refocus its attention on women. “Women are an important and loyal consumer for us,” said Colvin-Lovely. “ In order to connect with the women’s market the company has been working with partners to show not only the value proposition of Toyota’s products, but also its emotional side in a way that connects with community and strikes women across the board.”

Yamile Jackson of Houston: Toyota Standing O-vation Winner

This fall Toyota partnered with Oprah Winfrey for Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend 2014 Tour. “While reflecting the kind of stories that define the brand, the Toyota Standing O-Vation award offered an opportunity to celebrate bold, remarkable women who are not only making the world a better place, but also motivating others to spark their own journey of personal change.” said Colvin-Lovely. Presenting the award and $25,000 grant alongside Oprah in eight cities across the country was Team Toyota athlete and brand ambassador Amy Purdy.  After losing her legs at age 19 as a result of meningitis, Purdy has led an adulthood of extraordinary accomplishments and her remarkable story embodies Toyota’s shared values of innovation, commitment to the community and improving the lives of others. (See article on page 15) While in Houston Oprah and Purdy presented Yamile Jackson with the Toyota

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Standing O-Vation award. Jackson who received a PhD in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in human factors and ergonomics, formed Nurtured by Design to help babies undergoing hospital care by simulating the touch of their parents when they are unable to be present. Jackson’s own son, Zachary, was born at 28 weeks via emergency C-section when she developed preeclampsia.  While Zachary was in the NICU, Tropical Storm Allison flooded Houston and shut down the hospital causing his life support to be cut off. “We had to keep him alive by hand for nine hours until he was evacuated,” said Jackson. At that point she made a promise to herself that she would do something important to help babies on her son’s behalf. While her two pound son was confined in the NICU Jackson thought, “How does he know I’m his mom? How does he know I love him?” When premature babies are poked and prodded in the hospital they can become

Oprah Winfrey and Toyota Brand Ambassador Amy Purdy (far left) in Houston with Toyota "Standing O-Vation" Award winner, Yamile Jackson and her son Zachary. Photo Courtesy of Harpo Studios / George Burns.

averse to being touched. Frustrated with not being able to stay with her son in the NICU, Jackson wanted to ensure he would continue to be receptive to touch. To simulate her and her husband’s touch and scent Jackson created pillows out of garden gloves. “The Zaky,” as she calls her invention, had a noticeable positive impact on her infant son, and she soon realized the need for her invention in hospitals worldwide.  Since 2003, Nurtured by Design has manufactured about 50,000 Zakys and has made donations to 300 hospitals in 49 countries. Zakys are available online and sold to individual customers, to hospitals and donated to individuals who can’t afford them. If someone donates to a hospital Nurtured by Design matches the donation. “We want to help a lot of babies,” said Jackson. “We use them with preemies, with kids of all ages that are sick, for when mom has to work or travel or take a shower. It alleviates the anxiety.” With her $25,000 grant Jackson plans to continue grow-

ing her company. “We all have the power within us to bring about positive change in the world and sharing that with others is how we express our love and gratitude,” she said. Maile Molin of Austin: Toyota Mother of Invention

Since 2012, Toyota has partnered with Tina Brown Media and The Daily Beast to honor the Toyota Mothers of Invention (MOI) at Brown’s Women in the World signature events. The Toyota MOI program identifies and recognizes outstanding women who actively contribute to communities across the globe through innovation, entrepreneurship and invention. Brown, who has traditionally held the event in New York, brought the Women in the World Texas Forum to San Antonio for the first time this fall and featured powerhouse leaders including Gloria Steinem, Sister Rosemary Nyirumb, Dr. Jill Biden, Eva Longoria and Diane von Furstenberg.

Maile Molin recieves the Toyota Mother of Invention award from Sandra Phllips, VP and Deputy General Counsel at Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Photo credit: Women In The World Media/Darren Abate​ December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 11

In San Antonio Toyota named Maile Molin founder of English @ Work their newest Mother of Invention and awarded her a $50,000 Driving Solutions grant to further the work of her organization. Molin who makes her home in Austin, received a Masters in Public Affairs at the LBJ School at UT. Growing up in Hawaii she was exposed to at least four languages. While volunteering as an English teacher Molin realized, “ I was interested in exploring the intersection of the immigrant experience and learning English.” Sarah Crowe, Chief of Crisis Communications for In 2005 Molin, who was a UNICEF at the Women in the World Texas Forum. Photo credit: Michelle Leigh Smith full-time grad student at the time, witnessed the struggles of non-English speaking immigrants while waiting tables at Guero’s Taco Bar in Austin. “I started an English class at my workplace simply to help my co-workers,” she said. Molin observed people in her classes who could not ask the most basic questions. Many of her students were hardworking individuals capable of more responsibility who found themselves stuck in entry level ruts for decades. She soon realized the overwhelming need for accessible English classes for lowincome immigrants. “After I added classes for more businesses, I began to think, this is something I definitely want to grow.” Molin’s workplace classes eliminate the lengthy waiting list associated with most ESL programs and offer employers an opportunity to build strong partnerships with Actress, Eva Longoria spoke at the Women their employees. Benefits include reduced in the World Texas Forum. Photo credit: Michelle Leigh Smith.

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workplace accidents and errors and enhanced customer interactions. The children of English @ Work students receive benefits from their parents’ improved language skills as well. “The Aspen Institute calls it mutually reinforcing - where if the parents are learning, the kids will do better,” said Molin. Although starting a non-profit wasn’t initially a clear goal, “My heart is really a non-profit heart,” said Molin who found herself in an environment at LBJ that she believes led to her path. She also found inspiration through books. “I’m a reader,” she said. “Barbara Kingsolver who writes fiction anchored in systems of the natural world influenced me.  English @ Work is a system.  You can’t just build a building. You tie it to their world, their career and the fact that we are all connected.” The numbers speak volumes. “We know that there are 150, 000 people who don’t speak English well in Central Texas. We also know the majority cannot access traditional classes. If you have to drive there or take the bus, it makes it so much more difficult,” said Molin. Since founding the organization, English @ Work has served over 800 Central Texan immigrant workers at 30 businesses in the grocery, healthcare, and hospitality industries. In 2015 English@Work plans to expand the program into Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. Molin said the organization will scale the program through the creation of an English@Work package with tools on how to start classes which can be disseminated to other cities. “What I love about our model is that it assumes that local expertise is the best

From left, Kimberly Clay, Monica Gonzales, Lindsey Jacobellis and Claire Smallwood were honored as 2014 Toyota Everyday Heroes at the espnW Summit in Dana Point, California. ©Photo Courtesy of Eddie Perlas/ESPN Images

Bottom Row (L to R): DionneDionne Colvin-Lovely, National Director, Traditional & Digital Media, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A with Heidi Suprun, Ciao Bella! Publisher in San Antonio.

expertise. We want to make it the most locally focused approach possible,” said Molin. espn and Everyday Heroes

Another of Toyota’s women’s initiatives concentrates on sports. “ Toyota has worked closely the with espnW, a section of the espn website which takes an approach to sports designed to be relevant to women by telling the back story in addition to the on-field story,” said Colvin-Lovely. Since its inception in 2010, the espnW: Women + Sports Summit has brought together an elite group consisting of the brightest minds in the sports industry to focus on driving change and providing opportunity for women in sports. In the fall espnW and Toyota announced the Everyday Heroes program which honors women who are working to promote and grow sports for girls and women on a grass roots level in their local communities. At the most recent event Toyota awarded three Everyday Heroes with $10,000 grants to further the work of their non-profit

organizations. Dr. Kimberly Clay, Monica Gonzalez and Claire Smallwood each received an award. Clay is the founder/ executive director of Play Like A Girl, based in Frisco, Texas which promotes physical activity as a path to health and success. Gonzalez co-founded Gonzo Soccer, a soccer and leadership academy with chapters in the U.S., Mexico and Columbia including one in Houston based at Milby High School. Smallwood is co-founder/executive director of SheJumps, which offers opportunities to increase female participation in outdoor activities. Beneficiaries of these impactful programs find increased confidence, healthier body image and a sense of empowerment. “Toyota is known for high quality and reliability,” said Colvin-Lovely. “We also want to be known for empowering the community and how we can encourage and empower our consumers and guests to go places and really live the life they really want to pursue.” •

Toyota's Mother's of Invention recognized at the 2014 Women in the World Summit in New York. From left, Lauren Shweder Biel, Anna Stork, Andrea Sreshta and Tricia CompasMarkman were honored. © 2014 Marc Bryan-Brown/Women in the World Tina Brown, founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live Media at one of her signature events, the Women in the World Texas Forum. Photo credit: Michelle Leigh Smith Sarah Lucero, News Anchor, KENS 5-TV, Maile Molin, Mother of Invention honoree and Sandra, Phillips, VP and Deputy General Counsel at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. at Women in the World, San Antonio. Photo courtesy of Women in the World Media/Darren Abate. Women in the World guests purchased the beautiful handbags sold by Sisters United to support the work of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe. Photo credit: Michelle Leigh Smith Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe spoke at Women in the World Texas Forum. Sister Rosemary rescues young girls from sexual slavery and rebel attacks in Uganda. Photo credit: Michelle Leigh Smith

December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 13


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ON HER OWN TWO FEET by Heidi Suprun


t’s not what you have or don’t have, it’s what you give.” That’s the philosophy of Amy Purdy who lost both of her legs just below the knee at the age of 19 due to complications from meningitis which nearly took her life. During the months of recovery that followed the beautiful young woman with a sense of adventure and a passion for snowboarding found herself physically and emotionally broken until she had an “aha” moment. She realized that she had to let go of the “old Amy” and embrace her new circumstances which included wearing a pair of bulky uncomfortable prosthetic legs. “When I was in the hospital losing my legs, my motivation and strength came from feeling like I was the same person I was before I lost my legs,” said Purdy. “I still had the same passions and wanted to pursue those passions no matter what my circumstances were.” In her TED talk which has been viewed by millions of people in many languages she recalls asking herself, “If my life were a book and I were the author, how would I want this story to go?” During that critical time her answers came in vivid daydreams where she imagined herself walking gracefully, helping other people and snowboarding again. That is when a new chapter in her life began. Four months later she found herself back on a snowboard and took a fall which caused her prosthetic legs (which were still attached to the snowboard) to go flying down the mountain. Although Purdy was discouraged she knew in her heart that she could still snowboard if she could find the right prosthetic feet. “I believe in the power of intention,” she said resolutely. “When I look back I realize that no matter what challenge I’ve faced, it has always come down to being determined to find a way. I believe if you’re willing to work hard enough and you’re passionate enough, then there is always a way.” Team Toyota athlete and brand ambassador, Amy Purdy is the only double-leg amputee competing at the elite world-class level. ©Photo Courtesy of Michael Scott Slosser

December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 15

And she did find a way. After a year of researching prosthetics that she could snowboard with, she found a designer to customize a pair specifically for her needs. With new prosthetics built from random parts along with a kidney donated by her father, Purdy was able to continue following her dreams. At the age of 21, just three months after her kidney transplant she

entered the USASA National Snowboarding Championship where she won medals in three events. Today she is one of the top ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world, and the only double-leg amputee competing at the world-class level. She is also a three time consecutive World Cup Champion and was the 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist. While in Sochi at the Paralympic Games,

Above: Amy Purdy and Derek Hough became finalists on Dancing With The Stars. Photo courtesy of Saatchi & Saatchi LA. Below: Amy Purdy won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Games. ©Photo Courtesy of Michael Scott Slosser

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Purdy secretly prepared for her debut on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars with pro dancer Derek Hough, who flew to Russia to work with her. She said, “Derek is a genius. The channels to his creativity are wide open. He’s such a beautiful story teller. We had incredible chemistry.” Three days after winning the bronze medal, Purdy wowed viewers on the show’s opening night. During the course of the season, she delivered one remarkable performance after another and eventually became the season’s runner-up. “We took it day by day and week by week,” she said. “We never thought about the finale. Suddenly we were like ‘Oh my gosh we’re here!’” The two have gone on to be friends, and are still in touch with one another. Of all her accomplishments, Purdy is most proud of co-founding the non-profit Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) with her boyfriend Daniel Gale in 2005. “At the time I lost my legs there were grants available for people who wanted to get involved in classic sports like swimming and running, but there weren’t grants available for people who wanted to get involved with action sports,” she said. “We helped to kick off this action sports movement in the disabled community. “AAS has partnered with ESPN to run “adaptive” action sport competitions at the summer and winter ESPN X Games. These events were instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games. Purdy’s remarkable life journey brought her to Houston this fall while on tour with Oprah Winfrey for Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend. Purdy who is a Team Toyota athlete and brand ambassador shared her motivational story with thousands of people in each of the eight cities across the country they visited and was given the honor of presenting the Toyota “Standing O-Vation” award alongside Oprah, to one special women in each of city who is making bold choices with her life and creating change. In Houston she presented the award to Zaky founder, Yamile Jackson of Nurtured by Design. “It was an empowering experience to be able stand on stage with Oprah and pay it forward by presenting these women with a $25,000 grant from Toyota to further the reach of their organizations. The women who received the awards have gone through their own struggles and once they got on their feet they wanted to give back,” said Purdy. “I feel like my life has come full circle because when I lost my legs I remem-

FOLLOW AMY PURDY AND BE INSPIRED: Visit: www.amypurdy.com Like and Follow:AmyPurdyGurl on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter

Amy Purdy joined Oprah Winfrey to present the Toyota Standing O-Vation award at Oprah's The LIfe You Want Weekend in eight ciities across the country. Photo Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc./ George Burns

ber watching The Oprah Winfrey Show every day. Oprah’s show and her own life were definitely sources of inspiration for me.” Purdy is close with her family and feels that the person who has influenced her the most is her mother. “She is such a compassionate and loving person. She is the most nurturing person I have ever met. She’s always been supportive and never stopped me, even when I lost my legs and wanted to snowboard again.” Regarding her father’s gift to her of one of his kidneys, she said, “I’ll forever be grateful. You’re already bonded with your parents but that takes it to a different level. Derek Hough said it beautifully when he said to me, ‘Amy, how do you say thank you for this gift that your Dad gave you? You’re doing it, by being out there, living the fullest life, pursuing your dreams. You’re living it.’” Purdy has a new book coming out on December 30th entitled, On My Own Two Feet: The Journey from Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life co-written by Michelle Burford. (HarperCollins Publishers) Her poignant and uplifting memoir reveals the intimate details of her triumphant comeback and how losing her legs led her to find a spiritual path. “While writing the book I realized just how spiritually aware I was even when I was young,” she said. “I remember not ever wanting to lock myself down with a certain religion because I wanted to explore all of them before I did that.” In her book, she recalls her near-death experience, where she saw three figures who told her, “You can come with us, or you can

stay. No matter what happens in your life, it’s all going to make sense in the end.” In that moment, Purdy made the decision to live. In addition to the release of her new book, Purdy looks forward to introducing her new clothing line this spring. The Amy Purdy Collection is a partnership she established with Element Eden, the company that has been her clothing sponsor for the past five years. The inspiration for the line is the constant motion in her life, be it athletic, going to meetings and red carpet events or traveling across the country. “I wanted this clothing to be able to take me from one thing to the next and to feel good and to look good,” she said. Purdy described the line as similar to Lululemon but less athletic and more fashion forward. She recently traveled with it and received lots of compliments. “It was the best packing week I’ve ever had,” she said. “I could interchange the pieces and wear it in all different types of situations.” When Purdy isn’t snowboarding, working with AAS, public speaking, writing, or designing clothes you may find her performing. “I was in theater when I was in high school and wanted to act. I love being in front of the camera,” she said . The camera loves Purdy as well and in addition to performing on Dancing With the Stars and traveling around the world with her boyfriend on CBS’s The Amazing Race she has done creative photography projects with both Madonna and Nikki Sixx, modeled for numerous advertising campaigns, appeared in a Madonna music video and held the lead role in the film What’s Bugging Seth?

In pondering her future Purdy said, “Before Dancing With the Stars and all that fame hit, I thought to myself ‘I am living my dreams already.’ I always saw myself doing something impactful, not fully knowing exactly what it was. It’s interesting how I’ve hit all the goals I’ve ever wanted to hit and I’m doing all I’ve ever wanted to do in a completely different way than I ever could have ever imagined. You just don’t know what life has in store for you. In ten years I still see myself doing all the things I’m passionate about and make a living from it.” She added, “I would like to have a ranch with horses, my own garden, build my own home.” Purdy shared that she and her long-time boyfriend plan to get married one day but with her whirlwind schedule which includes extensive travel, marriage is not in their immediate future. She also visualizes motherhood in her future and said she may consider adoption since she has only one kidney. Amy Purdy is a living testament to the resilience of the human spirit. With modesty she shared, “I never set out to inspire anybody. When I went on Dancing With The Stars it wasn’t to inspire the world. When I decided to join the US snowboard team and compete in the Paralympics it wasn’t to inspire other athletes as much as it was to pursue the things that I’m passionate about. I’ve learned that inspiration is contagious. Whatever I do from this point forward it will all be in line with what inspires me and what I’m passionate about and hopefully that spreads to other people.” • December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 17

Beauty Confessional As confessed to Heidi Suprun

ciao bella! “What are your skin care secrets?”

Amy Purdy “I’m a licensed esthetician. One product that I love is coconut oil. I live up in the mountains in high altitudes and your skin gets so dry and dehydrated up here plus I’m on airplanes on the time. I use it under my other moisturizer and also I take it internally. I put it in my smoothies as well because I think nutrition affects your skin’s health.”

ciao bella! “What are your favorite cosmetic products?”

Amy Purdy “My favorite mascara is Glamoureyes by Stila. It’s the most amazing mascara I’ve ever used. I probably couldn’t leave the house without concealer. I was born with dark circles under my eyes.” “

ciao bella! “What hair care products do you use?”

Amy Purdy “I’m using quite a few different brands. I find that your hair gets used to certain products and after a while you’re not feeling the effects anymore. I use a little coconut oil in my hair to keep it moisturized after I blow dry my hair.”

ciao bella! “What is your daily fitness routine?”

Amy Purdy “When I wake up I stretch every day. Because I’m traveling so much I’m not able to keep up with the same routine I had. First I was training for the Paralympics and then I was training for Dancing With the Stars. Now it’s about trying to fit in what makes sense while traveling and I realized that body weight workouts make sense. You don’t need machines. You don’t need a gym. I do planks push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. If I don’t fit it in every day I try to do it at least every other day. It’s something you can do in your hotel room and you don’t need anything but your own body weight.”

ciao bella: “What do you do to manage stress?”

© Photo Courtesy of Michael Scott Slosser

Amy Purdy “I take a hot bath every night. That’s where I decompress. I also try to manage it throughout the day. This year I’ve tried to embrace being in the moment more and it has really lessened the anxiety and stress that I think I normally would feel. I always used to be preparing for things. On airplanes I didn’t let myself relax because I was preparing for speeches and then I’d be thinking about speaking all night long until I’d get up and do the speech. Then I’d be on the airplane to somewhere else. This year I had three weeks off in July and I decided to use that time to prepare every speech I knew I would need for the rest of the year. I worked really hard. I didn’t take a vacation and it’s made the rest of my work more enjoyable and has allowed me to be completely in the moment and enjoy every moment. If I’m with my family I’m a hundred percent with my family. If I’m with my boyfriend, I’m a hundred percent with my boyfriend.”

ciao bella! “What is your diet like?”

Amy Purdy “ When I was training for the Paralympics I was trying to gain weight and as much muscle mass as possible so I consumed a lot of calories. I ate equal amounts of carbs, protein and fat. When I did Dancing With The Stars I ate a lot of carbs for endurance.You’re going six hours a day, seven days a week and to keep that energy up you have to be fueling yourself. Now, seventy percent of the time I eat as healthy as possible. For me that’s vegetables and protein (fish and chicken). I limit carbs. Sometimes I’ll have a sweet potato, but I don’t eat much bread or pasta. I find that because vegetables are alive it makes me feel alive. I feel so much healthier and more energized when I’m eating really clean food. As long as I’m eating healthy seventy percent of the time, thirty percent of the time I allow myself to let go and enjoy. You can’t deprive yourself. You have to find that balance.”

ciao bella! “What are your fashion favorites?

Amy Purdy “I love boots. I have twenty pair of different types of boots I wear with leggings and skinny jeans.”

ciao bella! “What is your biggest beauty secret?”

Amy Purdy “Smiling. I realized seeing myself on Dancing With The Stars just how much better you look when you smile versus when you don’t. Being happy and smiling is a beautiful thing.”

18 ciaobellamagazine.com | December 2014

Heidi Massin:


by Ami Blackwell


ith the latest phase of electronic dance music (EDM) taking over the mainstream American music scene, Houston’s own Heidi Massin is coming into her own. Massin is a bundle of energy… a fitting attribute for an EDM artist who also works in the energy sector. She's outgoing, warm and filled with the light and love needed to nurture her family, her business and her art. A self-proclaimed “ecopreneur” Massin has a heart for her city and the environment and EDM music resonates at her core. “As the home of NASA, we are a city that thrives on innovation and that’s what this genre is all about,” said Massin. Massin is the founder of the first and only “eco-friendly” record label in Texas. Her company, Massin Media Productions, LLC, operates 1.1 Digital Recordings and its aptly named website, www.goodearthmusic. com. Her vision is to create and distribute "green" projects that leave a minimal carbon footprint. In this way Massin flies solo to bring recognition to the EDM genre while her projects benefit social causes. "If I make an impact on the environment and my 'green' projects make a difference for people, then several of the company’s goals will be met.” In the fall Massin released the single, "Believe In Love" which she executive produced under the name DJ Electrifyd (Massin's EDM persona.) The song features vocalist Kassie Crawford, who co-wrote the number with W.P. Middleton. Middleton has worked with Beyoncé, Destiny's Child, Boy George and George Clinton, to name a few. Designed to touch the soul, Massin recorded "Believe In Love" with a goal to parallel the song's rhythm to the sound of a heartbeat. Beginning with the drums, the music intensifies with rapid, energetic tempos throughout. "'Believe In Love' was created to inspire and spread joy," said Massin. "It's been a true labor of love and it is my hope that its music and message will elicit the same wonderful feelings as love does." Massin's compositions are like moody and beautiful electronic storms which originate from her musical, theatrical childhood. Trained in classical and contemporary piano at the age of eight, Massin enjoyed Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. Growing up behind-the-scenes in the theatre world, music was always a part of her life. Massin traces her love of EDM back to House Music and the boom of Disco. A colorful time when the funkiness ruled both the airwaves and the nightclubs, Massin dove right in. “I was always a dancer,” said Massin. “I even took disco lessons with my parents and I often went dancing.” Inspired by her favorite artists, Frankie Knuckles, Jean Michel Jarre, Paul Van Dyk, Avicii, and Tiesto, Massin morphed into her own and put together a sound that would define her artistry. Using her back-

Debbie Porter

ground in classical music, Massin went to famed Sugar Hill Studio in Houston and embarked on her first recording project. “I’m constantly asked what drew me to EDM and the answer is simple, I love how it makes me feel,” Massin said. “Many EDM songs are often about love and about connecting with others. It’s those universal themes that make this genre, in many ways to me, such strong community.” In the years since she began her own pursuit, Massin has performed in venues all over the city. Her resume includes performances at Fitzgerald’s, Ovation’s, Jet Lounge, Nutsuoh ( fka Dean’s On Main), Tootsies, M. Penner, River Oaks Country Club, Houston City Club, Sullivan’s, Dunns Brothers Coffee House, Picos Restaurant, Evelyn’s Park Conservancy in Bellaire, Hotel Zaza, The Houstonian Hotel, CityCentre at the inaugural Springboard South Music Festival, Nature’s Market and at local farmer’s markets. Massin was nominated two years in a row for the Houston Press Music Awards in the Instrumental/ Experimental genre and her music has been featured in television, radio and short films. Massin's excited about the future of the music industry in Houston and beyond. In her immediate future she looks forward to working on a project with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and serving as Board Advisor for the Houston Chapter of the National Association of Record Industry Professionals. To learn more about Massin's DJ and recording services contact her at rhythm88@ymail.com.

December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 19

Never give up a dream that makes your heart sing! – Fabulous Phebe

Debbie Porter

DREAMING BIG with Debbie Porter and Fabulous Phebe


ebbie Porter, who received a degree in fashion and design, has had a successful career as a fashion photographer for the past 26 years. Her resume includes commercial clients including Lands’ End and JC Penny’s, as well as assignments with Vogue and PaperCity Magazine, to name a few. After photographing her own children, Porter began working with children in the fashion industry. Dedicated to inspiring and supporting children, she is involved in several mentoring programs.

Porter who is creatively gifted in more than one area recently expanded into the area of fine arts. In one of her art shows, she returned to creating fashion illustrations and collaborated with children’s art; together they raised enough funds to create an art camp project. “This was where Phebe, the cartoon fashionista with a heartfelt inspirational message for kids was created.” It’s also what inspired Porter to get children actively involved in the project. “Since I’m involved in fashion and went to college to be a fashion designer I decided to make Phebe a fashion designer,”

20 ciaobellamagazine.com | December 2014

she said. “For kids, the attraction is not just her stylish ways; it’s the realness of her character. She’s fashionable but not snobby. She’s caring. She makes it okay to be different. Phebe doesn’t have to conform to what the industry says. She’s an individual. Her motto is to see what other people’s dilemmas are and be creative in finding solutions. The kids love her.” Driven by working collaboratively with creative teams, Porter has worked with some of the best in the industry. What has transpired is the creation of the new world of “Fabulous Phebe.” First came the books.

Debbie Porter has launched a Kickstarter campaign to build her "Fabulous Phebe" brand.

Katy Anderson

Porter published her first book, Fabulous Phebe Dreams Big last year. Phebe believes it’s on-trend to be an individual and equally important to dream big. Another one of Phebe’s missions is to show kids how seemingly unfortunate situations can yield positive results. Earlier this year Porter published Tino’s Tail in which Tino was embarrassed by his long tail. By the end of the book Tino learned to proudly “own” his tail. Porter has trademarked Phebe now and is working with a group of children on a third book in her Tales of A Fashionista series. “I had a client who needed images for their fashion line and they knew I was doing a book. They knew that in the first story Phebe dreamed of being a fashion designer, so they approached me and asked how I’d like to do a fashion line and said they’d barter with me if I wanted them to make me some samples.” Porter agreed. “ The clothes are beautiful and the kids love them.” When she unveiled the first fashion samples to a group of kids there were screams of excitement. “I went to the Dallas World Trade Center and the response was great. A showroom picked up the line within two days, “ she said. In her first book Dreams Big, Phebe dreams of designing a fashion line and now showrooms have welcomed her fashions. In today’s society, kids need good positive messages that teach them how to embrace each other’s differences. The Phebe brand which includes books, a song and a clothing line gives every child a way to take Phebe home. Ultimately, Debbie Porter plans to

Debbie Porter

expand Phebe’s popularity so that she can spread more inspiring messages to children. Phebe has only been around a little more than a year and is already exhibiting the kind of star power a brand needs to be successful. “That’s pretty inspiring and continues to motivate us towards creating additional Phebe products.” In her Kickstarter campaign Porter is seeking to raise $3,500 to continue the Big Hair book that her first group of little “Phebenistas” created with their story ideas. “Every time we do a book or when we have a dilemma we bring kids in and let them be part of the growth. I get the most out of it when I see the kids get into it. Having them come together and write future stories with me gets them excited. I get to hear where they’re coming from, their thoughts and what their looking for,” she said. “There’s so much potential here. I can’t believe how far we’ve taken this in a year and a half and the best part is the reaction from the kids,” she said. Porter enjoys seeing the enthusiasm on each kid’s face as he or she relates to dreams coming true. Judging the from reception that Phebe has received, Porter foresees unlimited possibilities, “Phebe

parties, a cartoon series, anything is possible. Porter has started a Kickstarter campaign. "We believe investors can become a part of something big if each person plays one small part and in doing so, they can own items that could become valuable collectibles. This is an opportunity to invest in the next generation and to educate them in a fashionable way, while igniting big dreams. It’s ‘way ‘fabulous!’” she said. Pledge amounts range from $10 to $800 with different creative rewards for each pledge level. For example, for a $10 pledge an investor receives a PDF of a Phebe book. Original rewards are designated for each level, all the way up to $800 which allows the investor to name one of Phebe’s eight closest friends who show up periodically in the series. • Stop by Porter's Kickstarter page at http:// goo.gl/3kyPHy and support Debbie Porter, Phebe and all the children to “Dream Big.” Visit the following websites for more information about Fabulous Phebe and Porter: fabulousphebe.com, debbieporter.com and deborahtrevinoporter.com. December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 21

Fashion Houston Naeem Khan’s Spring Collection Satisfies and Surprises by Helen Perry


aeem Khan is one of the biggest names in fashion. His impeccably cut dresses, phenomenal gowns and chic separates are seen on starlets, socialites and featured on the silver screen. Khan’s impressive client list includes Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Angie Harmon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Born and raised in India, Kahn was surrounded by a culture rich with history, dramatic architecture and exquisite design which greatly influenced his style. His collection, which launched in 2003 is now carried in more than 100 specialty stores. He launched Naeem Khan Bridal In 2013. Naeem Kahn was recently at Fashion Houston to show his spring collection. Handsomely dressed in black from head to toe he charismatically entered the Media Room with a combination of ease and high energy. “I love Houston!” Khan said. “The women really dress! And of course my friend, Becca Cason Thrash, is just wonderful.” Kahn described his spring line as “ full of romance, flowers, color and silhouettes. Something I’m introducing in this line for the first time is my sportswear and casual collection.” The designer

who is known for his sophisticated designs and refined elegance said,” I want my clothes to be accessible to more women. These will be more for the daughters of my regular clientele with price points between $1200 and $1500.” Catering to a new generation of clients seeking relaxed glamour, Khan’s runway designs featured track pants paired with sequined pullovers. For spring 2015, Khan said that the well-dressed woman, “needs everything!” Khan derives his inspiration from, “So many things… travels, people, lifestyles, culture, nature…” It was obvious to see nature blooming in his beautiful floral motif fabrics, embroidered designs and illusion lace patterns. His show offered plenty of drama with his exquisite over-the-top gowns and exciting new sportwear. The collection included stunning caftans, elegant ball gowns, spectacular sequined and beaded gowns and intricate embroidery. His color palette ranged from bright and bold to soft pastels. The crowd loved the show and gave the designer a Texassized ovation. One of Khan’s most ardent Houston fans, Kelley Smith Lubanko said, “He has made some of my favorites! I had a ballgown covered in shards of mirror. It was stunning, but I lost three inches in height, because it was so heavy!!!” Tootsies reported that Khan’s trunk show regulars fell in love with his new sportswear line ordering mostly the sequined tops to style with jeans or slacks. One thing’s for sure, from casual to black tie, you won’t be able to sneak in anywhere wearing a Naeem Khan! Corporate and Personal Image Consultant since 1983, Helen Perry has twice earned the BBB Pinnacle Award for excellence in customer service. She developed and teaches Eticool School for children and the P.A.T.H program for corporations. Perry is frequently called on by the media for her expert opinion and is an entertaining keynote speaker.Visit www.helen-perry.com or call 713.816.6009. •

Left and Above: Naeem Kahn's Spring 2014 collection included glamorous sportswear. Photos courtesy Naeem Kahn. Right: Naeem Khan with CultureMap Editor-in-Chief, Clifford Pugh

Books Art Therapy

Gluten-Free Goodness

Imagine attending a festive occasion and sitting down to a table filled with your favorite foods but knowing that eating them will make you physically ill. For those with celiac disease (one in 133 Americans) and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (18 million Americans) holiday dining can be difficult. Fortunately, help is on the way with The Lagasse Girls’ Big Flavor, Bold Taste -and No Gluten! written by Jilly Lagasse and Jessie Lagasse Swanson (Da Capo Press.) Daughters of celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, the sisters have both lived a gluten-free lifestyle since being diagnosed - Jesse with gluten sensitivity in 2001 and Jilly with celiac disease in 2004. Their first cookbook published in 2012, The Gluten-Free Table offered a representation of the kind of foods they were eating after being diagnosed. Since becoming gluten-free, many products have become available which have allowed them to create much more diverse menus. The sisters’ years of gluten-free eating and experimentation are certain to be appreciated by those seeking new ideas and recipes to wake up their taste buds. The book begins by sharing their journey to becoming gluten-free and provides helpful lists of ingredients to keep in the pantry. It also includes dairy-free and quick-and-easy options. Proving gluten-free doesn’t have to mean flavor free, The Lagasse Girls’ Big Flavor, Bold Taste -and No Gluten! offers 100 great recipes with influences from their childhood. The pages are filled with recipes for their favorite comfort foods including Mookie’s Three Cheese Mac, Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls, Chicken and Dumplings and Mamma’s Strawberry Shortcake. The Lagasse sisters also included the gluten-free variety of some of their dad’s recipes including Emeril’s Chicken, Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet with Basil Pesto and Parmesan Tuiles and Emeril’s Lamb T-Bones with Balsamic Onions, Baby Kale and Fingerling Potatoes. Don’t think of The Lagasse Girls’ Big Flavor, Bold Taste - and No Gluten! as a gluten-free cookbook. Think of it as a cookbook filled with exciting, delicious recipes with something for everyone. Find it on www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and other book sellers. Visit lagassegirls.com, like them at www.facebook.com/ LagasseGirls and follow them on twitter.com/LagasseGirls.

French women have found a new way to relax - and it’s probably not what you think. Next time you’re looking for ways to manage the pressures of everyday life, consider coloring! Hugely popular in France, many have discovered that coloring 20 minutes to an hour per day relieves headaches, quells anxieties, and provides that rarest of feelings for busy women everywhere - a sense of accomplishment. Art Therapy Mandalas: 100 Designs for Colouring and Meditation with original designs by French illustrator Sophie Leblanc provides a wonderful creative outlet, encourages a sense of relaxation and increases well-being. Used in Buddhist and Hindu traditions for centuries, mandalas are symbols that represent the universe. They are often used as aids to meditation, encouraging spiritual healing and a peaceful state of mind. Their designs vary widely from simple geometrics to intricate floral patterns. Traditionally, the mandala consists of an outer circle, sometimes shown on fire to represent the universe and the dangers it holds, and an inner palace which houses deities and the enlightened. Published by Jacqui Small LLP, the beautifully bound book is printed on art-quality paper. Also available from Leblanc is Art Therapy: Stained Glass 100 Designs for Colouring and Relaxation which includes traditional and contemporary stained glass designs to inspire additional hours of focused creativity and relaxation. Find the books on www.qbookshop.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and other book sellers.

December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 23


Houston Restaurant Week Houston Restaurant Week broke records in 2014 raising $1,600,162.25 for Houston Food Bank. Founded in 2003 by Houston radio and TV personality Cleverley Stone, Houston Restaurant Weeks has raised more than $5.9 million for the Houston Food Bank, making it the largest annual fundraiser for America’s largest food bank and the largest restaurant weeks of its kind in the United States. Photo courtesy of Cleverley Stone.

The Nature Conservancy

Guests enjoyed a Texas-style celebration at The Nature Conservancy’s 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee at the Houston Polo Club.  More than 440 people attended the event, which was led by chairmen Ann and Don Short and co chairmen Allison and Troy Thacker and, raised more than $771,000. State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas,  Laura Huffman welcomed guests to the magical town of Nature, Texas, a place that encompassed the best of the Lone Star State. Photo by Kim Coffman. Troy & Allison Thacker with Don & Ann Short.

Read Three Zero

The READ3Zero Non-Profit Literacy Foundation held its Literacy Luncheon & Book Signing at the Hilton Americas and celebrated their 5th Anniversary. Guest speaker was Neil Bush, chairman of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and Deborah Duncan of Great Day Houston was mistress of ceremonies. READ3Zero inspires youth to READ 30 minutes a day, to write their own stories and offers publishing and leadership opportunities for students. Photos by Melissa Chan.

Wilson West Middle School Students

Tammy Gee Su, Douglas Taylor & Connie Kwan-Wong

Deborah Duncan & Melissa Williams

Cy-Fair ISD Students

See more Paparazzi pics and keep up with the kind of news you love! Visit www.ciaobellamagazine.com • Like facebook/ciaobellamagazine • Follow twitter@ciaobellaeditor 24 ciaobellamagazine.com | December 2014

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December 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 25

Profile for Ciao Bella!

Ciao Bella! December 2014  

The Houston magazine for intelligent, stylish, health-conscious women.

Ciao Bella! December 2014  

The Houston magazine for intelligent, stylish, health-conscious women.