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ciao bella! TM

March/April 2014

Get inspired.

Samara Hurley

Celebrating with Style ALISON KAHN




Wedding Section! Megan Hilty


Darcy Miller

of Martha Stewart Weddings SHARES TIPS

Wedding Dresses


PLUS!  ell-A-Strology B Upcoming Events Beauty Tips Houston ciaobellamagazine.com


ciao bella!

ciao bella!


Get inspired.

March/April 2014

Samara Hurley

Get inspired.


Celebrating with Style

20 Celebrating Samara

ALison KAHWn

HoLLyWooD styList

RocKs tHe ReD cARpet

A peak into the life of the creative, caring and award winning event planner, Samara Hurley. By Heather J. Taylor


Wedding Section! Megan Hilty

Most GlaMorous Bride

Darcy Miller

of Martha Stewart Weddings ShAreS TipS

Wedding Dresses

We Love

sLeep GLoRious sLeep The experts Weigh in

Photo by: Debbie Porter Photography Hair: Trey Gillen Make Up: Jessica Alton at Tre Spa


ciao bella! Luncheon MArCh 26 to benefit Houston Area Women's Center

Dress by Shoshana Jewelry courtesy of Orion Fine Jewelry


MARCH • APRIL Houston ciaobellamagazine.com




25 Rocking The Red Carpet with Celebrity Stylist, Alison Kahn

5 Must List Editor's Picks for Fashion, Food and Fun 6 Beauty Buzz Rodan + Fields, Trend Alert from Trey Gillen, OPI Bridal Colors

23 Beauty Confessional Samara Hurley Confesses her secrets to Heather J. Taylor

The Houston native creates style statements for some of Hollywood's hotest stars. By Michelle Leigh Smith

28  Everything You Wanted to Know About Sleep But Were Too Tired To Ask

Houston experts discuss disorders, diagnosis, treatment and sleep comfort. By Hollis Hood


BRIDAL SECTION 12 Only One Wedding Rule: Have Fun

Darcy Miller, Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings shares tips for brides. By Jennifer Heath

14  Wedding Dresses We Love

Bridal looks for Houston's most discerning brides.

18  Bridal Mehndi

The beautiful and ancient henna art. By Dr. Sunita Kotecha

19  Megan Hilty

Most Glamorous Celebrity Bride of 2103. By Heather J. Taylor

10 Dining The Tony's Dining Experience

31 Bell-A-Strology Horoscopes by Nan Hall Linke, MA 33 Caring Events to Benefit Boys & Girls Harbor and Pet Adoption from The Forgotten Pets Advocate 34 Paparazzi Photos and recaps of recent celebrations and events 


8  Gotta Go...Again! by Christopher Jayne, MD, FACOG, Park Plaza Medical Associates 9 Meet Robin M. Moore, DO of Elite Family Health and Wellness

editor's note

ciao bella!


CIAO BELLA! : An informal Italian expression that means “hello and/or goodbye beautiful”

by Heidi Suprun, Editor-in-Chief


© 2013 by Ciao Bella! Magazine. Ciao Bella! ®

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief and Ciao Bella! Get Inspired ® are Registered Heidi Suprun Trademarks. All Rights Reserved. Ciao Bella! Photo by Nicole Kestenbaum for www.lastnightpics.com

Celebrate Spring with ciao bella!

Get inspired.

elcome to Spring -- the annual celebration of new beginnings and season of rejuvenation! We are excited to feature Samara Beth Hurly, owner of Celebrations by Samara on the cover. A masterful multi-tasker and talented event planner, Samara is a wonderful businesswoman, mom, wife, volunteer and friend to many. In her article you'll see beautiful photos of her family and the ultimate tea party for four-year-olds she recently threw for her daughter's birthday. With all of the awards shows on television, have you ever wondered about the people behind the scenes who make those celebrities look so good on the red carpet? We did, and were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Houston-born Alison Kahn, a talented stylist now living in California who helps celebrities like Mayim Bialik to look their best on the red carpet. To help celebrate new beginnings we have included a special bridal section. We were honored to interview Darcy Miller, Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings who shared great tips and inspiration for brides. We were also privileged to interview Megan Hllty, the actress we chose as our "Most Glamorous Celebrity Bride of 2013." Read what we found out about her romantic wedding, her tour and her upcoming film projects. Also in this section you'll want to check out the "Wedding Dresses We Love" and learn about the ancient art of bridal Photo by Ramona Echols Ellison mehndi. In the season of rejuvenation we thought it fitting to learn more about sleep, which is something that many of us don't get enough of. We interviewed sleep experts, Todd Swick, MD, Sue Ellen Richardson, DDS and Brad Lustick DC who shared important information about sleeping disorders and what you can do to get the type of sleep you need and deserve. Here's to celebrations, to new beginnings and to life! Happy Spring!


P.S. ciao bella! cordially invites you to come celebrate with us at two great events this month. Don't miss our Cocktail Party on March 12 at Bar 12 (3rd floor- Saks) co-sponsored by Celebrations by Samara and our Networking & Knowledge Women's Luncheon on March 26 featuring Dr. Christopher Jayne and Dr. Robin Moore. Co-sponsored by Park Plaza Hospital, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Houston Area Women's Center. 4 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

reserves the right to edit, reject or comment

Art Director/Graphic Designer editorially on all submitted material. We do Tanya Bäck not necessarily endorse views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we

Assistant Editors responsible for the advertised products and Hollis Hood, MichelleinLeigh services. Reproduction wholeSmith, or part without Heather J. of Taylor, Steve Wiley permission the publisher is strictly prohibited. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

Contributing Writers Contact us at info@ciaobellamagazine.com or Trey Gillen, Jennifer Heath, Hollis Hood, call 832.652.9268. Christopher MDand , FACOG, Ciao Bella! is Jayne, published delivered monthly Dr. Kotecha,businesses Nan Halland Linke, to Sunita women-centric to MA, homes in a two-month rotated circulation. Bella! Robin Moore, DO, Michelle LeighCiao Smith, is also available Heather J. Taylordigitally each month at www. ciaobellamagazine.com.

Photographers Biyani Photography, Ramona Echols Ellison, Debbie Porter Photography, Kim Hartz, Jack Hartzman, Hollis Hood, Natural Expressions, Michael Simon/Startraks, Michelle Leigh Smith Published by ciao bella! Magazine 4660 Beechnut, Suite 214 Houston, Texas 77096 Email: info@ciaobellamagazine.com Website and Digital Version: www.ciaobellamagazine.com Facebook: Ciao Bella Magazine Phone: 832.652.9268 • Fax: 713.218.0402 PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE

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 832.652.9268 or email: ads@cioabellamagazine. © 2013-2014 by ciao bella! Magazine. ciao bella!TM and ciao bella! Get InspiredTM 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 832.652.9268. ciao bella! is published and delivered to homes and businesses in River Oaks, West U, Bellaire, Tanglewood and Memorial.

“MUST” List! The best places to go, things to see, products to try, and more!





GIRLS ONLY Girls Only – The Secret Comedy of Women®, the hilarious original hit that has entertained more than 10,000 Houston women (and more than 100,000 women nationwide) has returned to Main Street Theater Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose Blvd. until the end of May. Girls Only, presented by I W Marks Jewelers, features a two-woman cast and mixes sketch comedy, improvisation, audience participation and uproarious songs and video in a unique examination of all things girly. The show stars Houston actresses Tracy Ahern and Shondra Marie (both rotating with Lendsey Kersey). Girls Only was created by Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein, two Denver improv actresses who adapted the earnest and sweetly absurd writings they discovered in their girlhood diaries. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m and Sundays s at 3:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $42.50. For more information visit girlsonlycomedy.com. To purchase tickets visit www. etix.com or call 1.800.514.3849. To enjoy group savings on 10 or more tickets email girlsonly2014@gmail.com or call 713.524.3848.

Rhinestone cowgirls are bringing back 1950’s rodeo fashion with fringe, flashy color, beadwork embroidered details and glitz. Whether you are a fan of chunky turquoise or all things shiny, a denim purist or a lace lover, you can find it all at Reliant Center, during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR), March 4-23. For the ultimate rodeo fashion fix, don't miss Rocking the Rodeo Runway Fashion Show and Exhibitor Showcase, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Reliant Center Main Arena in Hall C. There you'll find everything from charm bracelets with galloping horses, bejeweled halters to halter tops and custom belts made to order. To shop online for Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo gifts and collectibles visit store.hlsr.com. To Learn more about HLSR happenings visit www.rodeohouston.com.





There's still time to register for three of the Four French Soirées part of the Wine + Art Series at Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). Each session includes a curatorial/educator presentation featuring French masterpieces followed by a French wine tasting seminar led by James King, wine educator and founder of the Texas Wine School. Topics and dates: “Lives of Leisure: The Impressionists & Loire Valley Wines” (March 27), “Braque’s Beginnings & Wines of Bordeaux” (April 24) and “Braque’s ‘Second Career’ & Wines of Burgundy” (May 8). Sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 MFAH Members and $65 Nonmembers per session. For more information visit www.mfah.org/calendar/wine-art-four-french-soirees.

The second annual Connect Global Health Collaborative Conference presented by the Houston Global Health Collaborative (HGHC) will be held March 22-23 here in the Texas Medical Center. The conference will bring together interdisciplinary health professionals from multiple institutions throughout the greater Houston and Gulf Coast areas who are working in the exciting field of global health. Students and professionals from a diverse range of practice disciplines including public health, medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy will network and share information in order to increase collaboration and maximize efforts for the furtherance of global health. The event will be held at Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza. For ticket information visit www.houstonglobalhealth.org.

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 5

beauty buzz



Photo: Debbie Porter Photography Hair: Trey Gillen • Make Up Artist: Jessica Alston at TRE SPA


Founded by world-renowned dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, Rodan + Fields products make real results possible at home without injections or other invasive procedures. In her ciao bella! Beauty Confessional, Samara Hurley swears by the Rodan + Fields REDEFINE Regimen. Hurley’s Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant, Jennifer Callahan had this to say , “Rodan + Fields has products for every skin type. The REDEFINE products help to create a smooth, firm, flawless-looking complexion like Samara’s.” Rodan + Fields also has three other self-descriptive Regimens called REVERSE, UNBLEMISH, and SOOTHE. Additionally there are products to optimize results called ENHANCEMENTS, and their ESSENTIALS line which includes sunscreen and vitamins. The REDEFINE Regimen features the Daily Cleansing Mask, Pore Minimizing Toner, Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30, and Overnight Restorative Cream. The regimen lasts 60 days, retails for $193.00 and comes with a Satisfaction Guarantee. To order REDEFINE or any of the other Rodan + Fields products contact Jennifer Callahan and find out how you can save 10% off your products and receive free shipping. Email Jennifer at jke17@me.com. Visit www.jennifercallahan.myrandf.com.

When he takes your hand in marriage MAKE SURE YOU’RE WEARING



While Trey Gillen, owner of TRE SPA in West U was working on models backstage at New York Fashion Week in February, he noticed a trend emerging. Filling the fashion runways peach, rust and burgundy eye shadow was all the rage. To incorporate this trend into your routine Trey suggests keeping it monochromatic by wearing a similar shade of blush & lipstick. Visit Tre Spa at trespasalon.com or call 713.523.7800. Create your look with exclusive Ellis Faas cosmetics carried by Tre Spa.

Old Pink

Ginger Freckle

Bordeaux Red

6 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

Find these and other OPI nail laquers at ULTA Beauty stores for $9.00 each.Visit www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan.

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 7

Inspiring Promotion

Gotta go... again! by Christopher Jayne, MD, FACOG


veractive bladder (OAB) is a common condition affecting millions of women in the United States, but it is not normal. Normally we should be able to defer emptying our bladder for three to four hours. Normally when we have an urge to empty our bladder it should be a comfortable awareness that can be delayed by several minutes if needed. This process should never include the involuntary loss of urine. OAB is a general term to include urinary frequency, urinary urgency, the need to urinate at night called nocturia and leakage of urine related to any of these events. Women are more likely than men to be affected by OAB. Risk factors include age, obesity, and various medical conditions. That said many women do not have any risk factors yet struggle with OAB. When we struggle with bladder symptoms we tend to give in because it is easier to just go to the bathroom. Unfortunately over time giving in to our bladder actually deconditions our “potty training” skills learned as children and the symptoms worsen leading to a downward spiral that ultimately results in changes in our normal activities and for many reduced quality of life. Fortunately there are simple things most people can do to improve bladder health and reduce OAB. First, Kegel exercises. This involves regularly flexing and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to improve their tone. As the primary nerve innervating the bladder shares its origin with the main nerve of the pelvic floor muscles, there is an associated benefit to bladder function with regular Kegel exercises. Kegels should be done on a regular schedule

8 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

throughout the day and with any sense of urinary urgency. Next are timed voids. Timed voids involve scheduling urination at intervals that are shorter than the strong urges to urinate occur. This allows complete control of urination. On a schedule the time to urinate is gradually increased with a goal of three to four hours between voids. Lastly are delayed voids. This involves delaying urination once the strong urge to urinate is identified. Initially the delay is for just a few seconds but on a schedule the delay is gradually increased with a goal to delay urination by several minutes. These techniques may sound simple (and maybe even familiar mom) but studies have shown that at least 50% of people who implement these techniques will have significant improvement in their bladder function. You don’t need an office visit or a copay to get control of your bladder back. • Dr. Christopher Jayne is Board Certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive surgery, he is certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists and he holds a faculty appointment with the Scott Department of Urology at Baylor College of Medicine. In his primary practice with Park Plaza Medical Associates, he has extensive experience treating sexual health issues and pelvic pain in women and specializes in minimally invasive treatments of urogynecologic disorders in an advanced facility with outstanding professional staff. To make an appointment with Dr. Christopher Jayne, please call 713-526-4263. www.parkplazaurogyn.com.

Meet Robin M. Moore, D.O.


r. Moore grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and completed her undergraduate studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. She received her degree of osteopathic medicine from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1999 and did her training in family practice on Long Island in New York. She is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, American board of Osteopathic Family Physicians, National Medical Association, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dr. Moore is an osteopathic family physician that provides disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies for you and your entire family through all of life’s stages, from infancy to end of life. She believes that your body, when properly treated and maintained, is capable of self-healing. Because osteopathic family physicians have an appreciation for the interrelationship between body, mind, and spirit, she feels that she can provide you with the most holistic and comprehensive medical care available. Dr. Moore’s special interests are in women’s health, pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and wellness/prevention. Prior to opening her own practice in July 2010, Dr. Moore worked in a community health center in St. Louis, Missouri, then later moved to Frisco, Texas to be in private practice. With a desire to move closer to family, Dr. Moore decided to move to Houston to open an office. When away from her practice, she enjoys family gatherings, reading novels, shopping, and traveling. Contact Dr. Moore at 713.524.9300. www.elitefamilydoctor.com •

Networking and Knowledge


Wednesday, March 26, 2014 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Haven Restaurant 2502 Algerian Way


Prizes include: 2 nights at The Victorian Condo-Hotel, tickets to see Girls Only and a Massage Heights gift certificate.


Advanced registration & payment required by March 24.

To register & pay go to

http://www.ciaobellamagazine.com/events.html. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Houston Area Women's Center


(near Kirby & 59)

Dr. Christopher Jayne & Dr. Robin Moore

Speaking on health topics of particular interest to women.

Seating is limited. Register today!

Sponsored by

ciao bella!

For more information email info@ ciaobellamagazine.com or call 832.652.9268.

Get inspired.

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 9



Dining Experience E

Legendary Restauranteur, Tony Vallone

by Hollis Hood

excellence is created by attention to detail and at Tony Vallone’s restaurants—Tony’s, Ciao Bello and his newest, Vallone’s—no effort is spared to make patrons comfortable and consistently provide the finest fresh cuisine with ingredients from around the world. “I love what I do and I always have. I believe whatever you do, you should do with passion,” said Vallone. “My passion is the pursuit of excellence and in educating people to the wonders of classical, traditional good food. I’ve been doing this for 45 years.” The menu constantly changes at Tony’s restaurants because every dish is made with the freshest, never frozen, ingredients. “The kitchen follows the season. This is the season for cherries in Argentina so we have cherries flown in,” he said. Recently it was the season for gathering black winter truffles and the truffles were shipped from France. “We make what we serve in our own kitchens at all three restaurants and gather the finest ingredients from

Photos courtesy of Tony's.

10 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

The “Insieme” marries asparagus, radicchio, cheese buratta topped with roasted walnuts.

A cotton candy dessert, designed to delight.

Photo by Hollis Hood

throughout the world.” Tony’s has international recognition for one of the most extensive and exquisite wine lists imaginable with more than 1000 labels from the world’s finest wine regions, as well as rare and collectibles beginning from 1844. His passion for creative details is also in the décor and atmosphere of the dining experience. The bar area at Tony’s features a flickering fireplace with waterfall windows, spacious seating areas and elegant flower arrangements on tables and in the décor, plus music gives the diner a sense of being in a calm courtyard—beautiful, well-orchestrated, but not formal. The spaces can be arranged to accommodate all sizes of meetings, receptions, birthday parties, rehearsal dinners and other festive occasions. The mission of every staff member at Tony’s is to make every diner feel comfortable and to anticipate any need. Wait staff move almost unnoticed throughout the dining area with an air of true professionalism. “Our staff goes through rigorous training,” said Vallone. “We have very little turnover in personnel.” So leave the world behind and bask in the atmosphere of fine food and attentive service at Tony’s located at 3755 Richmond. (Trust that no detail has been lost, such as sending a “sparkler” adorned cotton candy desert to the table of a recent birthday celebrant -- outstanding improvisation by Chef Kate! Also the Tagliarini Silvano [Roman artichoke, porcini, leeks and Shallots] and Spigola [grilled sea bass, calabrian devil chiles, braised baby octopus and cavatelli] were extraordinary cuisine!) “Houston is growing and the Memorial area is bursting with development,” Vallone said. So, he has located his newest restaurant, Vallone’s, near the Memorial City Mall. The same attention is given to freshness but in more traditional Texas dishes. Reservations are suggested at all three restaurants. Catering is available for any size event and reflects the same attention to detail. • • Tony’s, tonyshouston.com, 3755 Richmond Ave. (between Weslayan and Edloe), 713-622-6778 •C  iao Bello, ciaolbellohouston.com, 516 San Felipe at Sage, 713-960-0333 • Vallone’s, vallonessteakhouse.com, 947 Gessner, 713-395-6100

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 11


HAVE FUN By Jennifer Heath

Darcy Miller has one lasting piece of advice for brides of all ages… there are no rules.


first-time bride can wear pink and a second-time bride can wear white,” said Darcy Miller, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings. Miller joined Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSLO) in 1992 to work on the launch of Martha Stewart Living, and in 1995, the launch of Martha Stewart Weddings. Known for her memorable, fun, and inspirational entertaining ideas the celebrations expert has been a participant in a plethora of weddings and special occasions during the past two decades. “The new rule for weddings is just that there are no rules.” For second-time or encore brides, Miller sees more trends toward capturing the moment as a time to bond and cherish memories with family and friends. “One thing I get asked a lot by second-time brides is, ‘Can I do this?’ Can I wear white? Is it weird if I have a big wedding cake? Can I do a traditional first dance?” Miller said. “My answer is always do whatever feels comfortable.” Finding a special location to hold the wedding ceremony or reception is an easy way to add personality to the event. The restaurant of the couple’s first date or the spot where they became engaged can sometimes make for a beautiful venue for second-time weddings. For many couples a second wedding is about spending quality time together. Miller said, “It’s a special bonding time where they don’t have the pressure of having to invite every college friend they’ve ever known.” For Miller, the key to any great wedding is capturing the memories and feelings leading up to and during the day. Inspired by her own (50-pound!) wedding scrapbook, Miller created Our Wedding Scrapbook (Harper Collins, $25) a place for couples to keep special mementos throughout their engagement and even after the wedding day. “I’m a real scrapbook junkie. I’ve found there are so many special moments from the wedding day that you don’t think to keep,” said Miller. “Whether it’s the best man’s toast notes on an index card, your personal wedding vows or the room key to your Honeymoon suite, Miller’s 12 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014


FABULOUS WEDDING Stay organized. There are countless details to consider, from how-not-to-bust-thebudget to choosing gifts for the flower girl. Keep everything centralized and accessible.

Pick a palette. Choosing a pair of wedding colors will be an easy way to tie all your details together.

Entertain your guests. Your wedding isn’t about just you, but your guests too. Make sure everyone is comfortable and well taken care of during the festivities.

Make it personal. The little details will make your wedding meaningful to both of you. Have a special song? Met at a newspaper? Tie those inspirations together to personalize your day.

Be in the moment. During the big day, let it go. Take a moment to enjoy the celebration and cherish the memories you’re making with the one you love.

scrapbook is the place to keep all the small intricacies of the wedding details. The scrapbook leaves spaces for couples to fill in their thoughts of the wedding day, what went well (and what didn’t), and other small memories that might otherwise be forgotten. “Especially because everything is digital, this is not instead of, it’s in addition to,” Miller said. “How wonderful would it be to be able to sit down and flip through your grandparent’s wedding album, to see their invitation and hear their thoughts? Digital pictures and Instagram are not a replacement for having those keepsakes to pass on.” Miller also gets asked plenty about common wedding etiquette questions. What’s the best way to ask guests to not post pictures of the wedding on social media sites? Miller suggests making sure guests know of your wishes. Another option is to provide a mobile check spot for people to relinquish their handhelds. “Or go with it,” Miller said. “You can always create a hashtag for your wedding.” The benefit of allowing guests to photograph your wedding and reception is the abundance of different pictures you’ll get to enjoy about your day. “Whatever is going on, try to enjoy it, and especially enjoy the process of planning,” she said. “But when the big day comes, step back and be in the moment. You’re never going to have all your friends and family all in one place again. What matters is you’re having fun.” •

WAYS TO PERSONALIZE YOUR WEDDING Alternative Guest Book. Have your guests sign a map

of the state of Texas or use a photo booth where guests sign and leave their favorite pictures. These will look great hanging in your home, later, too.

Creative Favors. Photo booths are fun, but what about a lo-

cal artist to sketch guests and couples? Provide cellophane bags for guests to take home a few fresh flowers from your centerpieces as they leave. How about a CD of your first dance song?

Double Duty. Think past the paper place cards for seating

arrangement. Instead try monogrammed paperweights or vintage bookmarks to assign places and add something special.

Special Gifts. Embroidered handkerchiefs are a great idea to give mothers of the bride and groom. Name-stitched totes filled with coloring books, candy and games can keep flower girls and ring bearers occupied at the reception.

Miller gives all the brides-tobe she knows a subscription to Martha Stewart Weddings and a copy of her Our Wedding Scrap­book. Find the scrapbook online at darcymillerdesigns. com/shop.html.

SEE WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE DOING AND FIND INSPIRATION • ONLINE: www.marthastewartweddings • www.darcymiller.com • DAILY BLOG: thebridesguide.marthastewartweddings.com • LIKE: Facebook.com/marthastewartweddings • INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @marthawddings • @ darcymiller • RE-PIN: pinterest.com/marthaweddings • pinterist.com/darcydesigns

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 13

Wedding Dresses We Love

ciao bella! shopped three of Houston's most elegant bridal spots and selected an array of styles we loved. Showcased here are dresses for the most discerning brides ranging in style from traditional to fashion forward. These fashions may be found at the following stores: Casa de Novia Bridal Couture - River Oaks Shopping Center 2040 West Gray Suite 120, Houston, TX 77019 713.523.9090 www.casadenoviabridal.com Nordstrom Houston Galleria - The Wedding Suite 5192 Hidalgo Street Houston, TX 77056 832.201.2700 shop.nordstrom.com/C/wedding-shop Winnie Couture Flagship Salon - Haute Bridal Fashions 5152 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX 77005 713.782.9316 www.winniecouture.com (By Appointment Only)

THIS PAGE: 1. Isabelle Armstrong 'Maya' tafetta gown, $6,600 Casa de Novia Bridal Couture RIGHT PAGE: 2. Winnie Couture Bridal Collection, Diamond Label, 'Venita' silk charmeuse sheath gown with Swaravski bead details, $3989 3. Rosa Clarรก 'Baviera' rebrode lace gown with chapel train, $4,025 Nordtrom Wedding Suite 4. Oscar de la Renta 'Addison' ivory silk faille structured sweetheart trumpet gown, $6,990, Casa de Novia Bridal Couture 5. Hayley Paige 'Mila' tiered chiffon gown $2,750, Shawl $275, Nordstrom Wedding Suite 14 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014





March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 15


7 THIS PAGE: 6. Roses by Reem Acra 'Tansy' draped silk gown, $3,500, Nordstrom Wedding Suite 7. Rosa Clara 'Belinda' chiffon dress $3,175, Belt sold separately, Nordstrom Wedding Suite 8. Monique Lhuillier 'Esme'- ivory illusion cap sleeve modified trumpet gown with embellished applique overlay $7,400, Casa de Novia Bridal Couture RIGHT PAGE: 9. Vera Wang 'Hayley' with cascade of organza petals in the skirt, $6,500, Casa de Novia Bridal Couture 10. Monique Lhullier 'Adele' ivory embroidered tulle and chantilly lace illusion cap sleeve modified trumpet gown with keyhole back, $9,500, Casa de Novia Bridal Couture

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11. Winnie Couture Wedding Collection, Blush Label 'Daisy' with Swarovski beaded belt and organza textured skirt, $2,289

Beauty for the

Blushing Bride

FOR THAT BRIDAL GLOW Achieve a glowing radiant complexion for your big day with the Blushing Bridal Set from Juice Beauty. Formulated with certified organic ingredients Juice Beauty literally feeds your skin. Juice Beauty carries exclusive gift sets for brides-to-be, the bridal party, guests of honor and thank you gifts for those special few. Designed for all skin types and skin tones Juice Beauty products contain no harmful chemicals and are cruelty free. Visit http://www.juicebeauty. com/store/bridal-beauty, www.ulta.com and ULTA Beauty stores.


9 10

Silky, fine-milled Ulta Eye Shadow glides on and blends easily. Enriched with emollients the long-lasting color won’t crease or fade. Choose from 90 different shades. $7.00 each. Find it at the Ulta Beauty store nearest you or visit www.ulta.com.




Eggplant March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 17


Mehndi by Dr. Sunita Kotecha

Photo by Biyani Photography

HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF HENNA The ancient and intricate artistic designs created using henna have been around for many centuries. Henna tattoos are documented to have originated in the East with a concentration in Pakistan, India, the Middle East and some African countries. Cleopatra was known to have adorned herself with henna in

ancient Egypt. Henna is made from a plant called Lawsonia Inermis which grows well in hot climates. Traditionally, henna plants were manually collected and crushed by hand to form a distinctive green powder. Natural ingredients such as lemon juice, egg white, clove oil, red wine, loose tea leaves and coffee were then added to the powder to create a particular shade or intensity.

Mehndi Artist: The Original Henna Company, Soniya Ekici

BRIDAL TRADITION In ancient times henna was regarded as having blessings and was applied to brides for luck, joy and beauty. The art, known as "Bridal Mehndi" is commonly used today by Asian brides to decorate their hands and feet for their weddings. In addition to looking beautiful, henna is also applied to brides for its cooling, medicinal properties. Henna can actually reduce stress and alleviate tension during this highly emotional time in a woman’s life. During a Hindu ceremony, mehndi, (henna) takes place the day before the wedding at a ladies-only afternoon tea. Often this ceremony will merge with Sagri, the “acquaintance party”, where the groom’s female relatives bring gifts and flowers to adorn the bride. The henna is mixed into a thick paste and placed in a plastic cone with a very small open tip for application onto the skin. Intricate patterns drawn with mehndi symbolize the deepening of bonds of a bride with her future husband. A common mehndi tradition is to write the groom's name or initials somewhere on the bride's hands. It is then a custom for the groom to search for his name, which can be difficult to find in the beautiful henna designs. Tradition says that if the groom finds his name in his bride’s hands he will be the dominant one in the marriage and if he doesn’t, his bride will be the dominant one. Many brides in the East have the intricate henna patterns extending all the way up to right below their elbows and knees. This is not a common practice in the West and like me, most brides prefer to have the henna applied up to their wrists and ankles. The key to producing a beautiful rich intense color with henna for your wedding day (as any elder in the family will tell you), is to leave the mehndi on as long as possible. After the henna has dried, an application of oil or lemon juice to the area before washing it off helps to intensify the color. Culturally speaking, it is said to be very auspicious for a bride to have dark red henna on her skin. In my experience the most difficult part of getting married was having to sleep with plastic bags on my hands and feet in the hope of having a dark rich color for my wedding day. •

Photo by Biyani Photography

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Freelance writer, Dr. Sunita Kotecha, resides in The Woodlands with her neurosurgeon husband and three children. A native of the UK, her passions are yoga, healthy nutrition, healing, and meditation. You can read Dr. Kotecha's blog at www.momvegandiva.com.

And the Winner is....



Megan Hilty Heather J. Taylor Interviews Megan Hilty


iao bella! combed through a slew of celebrity brides in search of our top pick for “Most Glamorous Celebrity Bride of 2013.”  After ooohing and ahhhing over a diverse group of brides, including Idol, Kelly Clarkson and Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert, we chose Megan Hilty, the critically acclaimed, award-winning  actress who  looked stunning at her November 2 marriage to actor and musician, Brian Gallagher. Among her many credits Hilty has performed in Broadway hits, Wicked and 9 to 5: The Musical; and in the NBC’s TV series, Smash.  She tours frequently and recently with the Houston Symphony in November.  Last month, Heather J. Taylor had the privilege of interviewing  Megan about her 2013 wedding and upcoming performances and film projects.


HJT    “Congratulations on your recent marriage to Brian Gallagher!  Your wedding dress was gorgeous.  Why did you decide to choose a Badgley Mischka?” Hilty    “Badgley Mischka was all I wanted to wear. I love them so much. I've worn several of their gowns in photo shoots for People magazine, performing on the Tony Awards and during the filming of Smash. Their gowns are all unique pieces of art and fit perfectly. My wedding gown didn’t need any alterations at all.”   HJT    “What shoes did you choose to wear with your wedding dress?” Hilty    “I wore Steve Madden nude sky-high platform shoes.”

Photo by Michael Simon/Startraks

HJT    “How did you decide where to get married?” Hilty    “Brian and I love Vegas and we always stay at the Venetian or the Palazzo.  We planned our wedding in nine days and figured Vegas was a great place for our families to travel to on such short notice.  The Venetian wedding chapels are so beautiful and their staff made it so easy for us.  They took care of all the details - and the flowers were gorgeous!”   HJT    “Did you change into a second dress after the ceremony?”  Hilty    “My second ‘dress’ was a set of cute, comfy pajamas.  Our reception was a PJ party in our suite right after the ceremony.  We took everyone’s room service order for dinner and while we were at the service downstairs, they were setting up our dinner and wedding cake in our suite. It was great because our nieces and nephews could run around and play in their PJs while we were making toasts and drinking champagne.”   HJT    “What was your best wedding moment?” Hilty    “The pastor forgot to let us do our own vows in the ceremony so once we got upstairs our families started chanting, ‘Do your vows! Do your vows!’ Mine were alright, but my husband wrote the most beautiful speech I’ve ever heard and the fact that we got to do that in such an intimate setting really made the night magical.  Everyone was crying and we got to see how happy our families were for us.”

HJT    “What’s in store for you this year?” Hilty    “I’ve got a lot of fun concerts coming up all over the country that I’m really excited about. Whether I’m performing with my husband and our little band or with a symphony orchestra, it’s always a thrill to sing for a live audience.”   HJT    “I understand you have some exciting animated film projects coming up for release.  Please share a few of them with our readers.” Hilty    “I’ve been very lucky to have broken into the animated voice-over world. I have a few movies coming out.  Legends of Oz: Dorothy Returns will be in theaters on May 9. It’s a musical and the cast is incredible! I got to see a screening of it recently and was so thrilled with how it turned out! I can’t wait for the world to see it!”  (Hilty plays the part of the China Princess) I also do a lot for Disney. I play “Rosetta” in the Tinker Bell series which is awesome. We have a movie coming out in April called The Pirate Fairy and I think it’s the best Tinker Bell film yet.  It’s funny and full of heart.  Another short animated film I did for Disney is called Lucky Duck. It’s also a musical and it’s about a group of misfit toys helping each other get through a hard time.” •

Hilty has a full tour schedule throughout  2014 including performing Totally Wicked with the Seattle Men’s Chorus (Mar 29-30), at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco (April 12-13) and at The Capital Theatre in Clearwater (April 26). To view her full tour schedule for the year and to stay up to date with Megan Hilty visit meganhiltyonline.com.  March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 19


Samara by Heather J. Taylor


iracle Worker…Dream Maker…Magician…Fairy Godmother...Stress Reliever… Visionary… Genius…Event Therapist...Friend.” These are some of the ways that her clients have described Houston’s A-list entrepreneur and awardwinning event planner, Samara Hurley. Securing her services up to two years before their events, Samara’s clients have gotten to know (and love) her during the planning process. “Samara creates real relationships with her clients,” said Andrea Rappaport, a former client who hired Samara to plan her wedding. “I even found myself wanting to correspond with her while on my honeymoon! Samara is someone I fondly think of as a dear friend.”

BEAUTIFUL BEGINNINGS At an early age Samara’s mother, a conference planner inspired her to join the vocation. During high school, she planned and worked events in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. While at the University of Maryland at College Park, Samara met Naval Academy Midshipman, Michael Hurley, who scooped her up, just like Richard Gere did with Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentlemen, and married her in true romance style. “Our wedding was beautiful and unique,” said Samara. “We had a sword ceremony with the Naval officer groomsmen wearing their choker white uniforms. Michael serenaded me during the reception with his fellow officers, and my mom did a gorgeous job coordinating at the Belvedere in Baltimore, Maryland.” After graduating from college, Samara was also scooped up by New York City’s premier company, Empire Force Events, as a corporate event planner. When duty called, Samara became a “Navy Wife” but continued to follow her professional passion, planning and executing events for Navy and corporate clients, while running another successful home-based business entertaining through cooking. After living in nine cities (including Oahu, Amelia Island and Charleston) over a period of thirteen years, Samara’s husband left the Navy and took a position in the oil industry, and in 2006 the family finally settled down in Houston. The couple has two children, Gavin, age ten and Ava, age four.


photos by Jack Hartzman

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Five years ago, Samara started her company, Celebrations by Samara, which specializes in Adult and Kids' Birthday Parties, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Holiday Parties and Corporate Special Occasions.   The company also focuses on a unique wedding niche: Encore Weddings and Renewal-of-Vows anniversaries.  Encore meaning, it’s not the bride and/ or grooms first go-around and renewals offer a couple a chance to share commitment pledges after years of marriage. 

COVER GIRL Samara Hurley

THIS PAGE: Winner of the International Special Events Society (ISES) Crystal Icon Award for “Best Social Event over $50,000” in 2013, Samara Hurley creates events to be remembered. OPPOSITE PAGE: Above: Samara and Michael Hurley enjoying a night on the town. Below: Samara and Michael at their romantic September 2000 wedding. Debbie Porter Photography Hair: Trey Gillen Make up: Jessica Alston at Tre Spa Dress by Erdem Earrings courtesy of Orion Fine Jewelry

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 21

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: 1. Samara makes sure she understands her clients' vision for their events. 2. The ultimate Sofia the First tea party table setting with white Chiavari chairs. 3. The Hurley family: Gavin, Samara, Ava and Michael enjoying Ava's fourth birthday party. OPPOSITE PAGE: Ava Hurley enjoying all the details of her Sofia the First birthday party.

Samara loves what she does and makes sure she understands her clients’ vision from the beginning, which saves them time and money.  She also provides a healthy dose of creativity and an injection of ideas versus just recommending vendors.  Former encore wedding client Jack Ikenaga said, “We had such great rapport with Samara.  She knew what we wanted with very little effort or back and forth. Every guest felt like they were personally catered to and the entire experience was truly magical.” Samara’s tagline is “be a guest at your own event” and her company provides that experience. Bar Mitzvah client Margaret Jelinek Lewis stated, “I was fun to be with all weekend because I was calm; I had obviously hired people I trusted, which

allowed me to let go of the details and enjoy the weekend.” Among her accomplishments, Celebrations By Samara won the International Special Events Society (ISES) Crystal Icon Award for “Best Social Event over $50,000” in 2013 and was rated as one of Houston’s Largest Independent Event Planners by Houston Business Journal starting 2012. Samara recently accepted the honor of chairing the Crystal Icon Awards Gala this coming August and she is quoted as an event expert in a number of publications.

FUN AND FABULOUS EVENTS Anything goes in the event industry, and Samara’s favorite types of events are themed. “It takes a lot of creative ideas and research to make an idea come to life,” said Samara. Christy Spisak, Director of Sales and Operations at Cosmo Cool Concepts said, “If anyone can make something out of nothing it’s Samara!” Just last weekend, Samara turned a warehouse parking lot and disc jockey’s showroom into a tented circus – dance party for 220 guests. Fun circus foods included: cotton candy, popcorn, fruit filled sugar cones, soft pretzels, hot dogs and chicken skewers. A sword swallower, LED juggler and stilt walker entertained the guests with side shows, while the disc jockey and hip hop dancers had the dance floor packed with guests. Recently, when her daughter celebrated her fourth birthday, Samara pulled out all the stops and created the ultimate fouryear-old Sofia the First tea party. Complete with a three story walk-up castle, life-sized princess figurines in the yard, tiara and glass slipper finger sandwiches, tiny individual cakes made to look like the dresses of Sophia the First main characters’ ball gowns, fine china tea sets, child-sized white Chiavari chairs with gold organza sashes beautifully tied and accented with glitter wands, chandeliers and lavender table linen. Entertainment included face painting, balloon art, and Sophia the First episodes playing on flat screen televisions in the play castle. The girls were in a princess wonderland.  “Sure, it was overboard for a kid’s fourth birthday party,” Samara said, “but I’m a party planner so why not create Ava’s dream party? I include my kids in the planning process of their parties, so they can get a glimpse of what their mom does and feel the sense of pride that comes with a beautiful event.”  


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photo by Natural Expressions

When asked what her superhero name would be, Samara laughed, “I think it would be Multi-Tasker Woman!   I’m able to keep

my life balanced because I’m very organized. I believe that is the key to making time for my beautiful children, my loving husband, my business and my friends.  I’m also able to find time to chair events for my children’s school and other organizations I care about.”   Among her many memberships and boards she sits on, Samara is a member of Kappa Delta Alumni Society, International Special Events Society, National Association of Catering Executives, Bellaire Young Mothers, Hadassah and Congregation Beth Israel Sisterhood. A devoted friend, when one of her friend’s was unexpectedly widowed with four young children, Samara helped pull together the community and organized a poker tournament in two weeks that raised over $27,000 to start a trust fund for the children. Samara also finds time to mentor and teach at event planning seminars held at universities and industry organizations. She encourages new planners to gain as much exposure as possible.  To get ahead in the event game Samara recommends volunteering,

interning, planning parties for friends and family; and attending local and national chapter meetings, such as ISES, NACE and MPI. Samara explained, “Getting into the event industry is not about getting rich; it’s about passion and being able to work well with different personalities.” To manage her stress, Samara works out. “Everyone at the gym will tell you I’m addicted to exercising with my eyes glued to my Kindle, and I won’t reveal what guilty pleasure I’m secretly reading.” she said with a smile.  Samara also loves being a guest at social events with her husband, trying out different restaurants, watching movies and enjoying Girls Night Out with friends.  “When you move as often as my family has,” said Samara, “networking is a necessity to create a sense of community.”  Maybe that’s why so many of her clients say that she doesn’t know a stranger, and why she has made so many lasting friendships along the way.  That must also be why Samara feels so at home in Houston and fortunately for us, she is here to stay. •

Beauty Confessional ciao bella! “What is your skin care secret?”

SAMARA “I love the Rodan+Fields Redefine System. It’s wonderful.”

ciao bella! “What is your favorite cosmetic line?”

SAMARA “Lancome. I feel naked without mascara and my ‘can’t live without lipstick’ is Lancome’s Amande Sucree.”

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

SAMARA “I love to hot curl my hair, so I need to protect the damage I cause from heat, color and highlights.  I use Sulfate Free Shampoos and Conditioners (mixed in with Head and Shoulders if my scalp is dry), Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask once per week, and Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-in Conditioner Spray before I brush and blow dry.”

ciao bella! “What is your fitness routine?”

SAMARA “I’m a gym bunny at the JCC Fitness Center. I do cardio 5-6 days per week and weight training with my trainer Lee, two times per week. I also take core classes two times per week which works my abs, thighs, and buns and on most days I do floor abs. When I can fit it in, I play tennis and I lift my four-year-old daughter frequently which is quite a workout.”

ciao bella! “What do you do to manage your stress?”

SAMARA “I get regular therapeutic massages and I go out frequently with my husband and friends to de-stress and keep my spirits high. I also enjoy a glass of wine or a Grey Goose dirty martini from time to time.”

photo by Natural Expressions

as confessed to Heather J. Taylor


ciao bella! “What is your diet secret?”

SAMARA “It’s not easy losing weight when you’re 5’ and don’t have much to lose. My new favorite is The Fresh Diet (thefreshdiet. com). They deliver fresh food to your door every night. I was on it for 31 days I lost the weight effortlessly and even exceeded my goal. That included eating whatever I wanted on the weekends. To me the key to keeping the weight off is allowing yourself to ‘cheat,’ and going right back on your ‘diet’ when the weekend or vacation is over.”

ciao bella! “What is your personal style like and what are your fashion favorites?” SAMARA “Being petite makes shopping a challenge and I spend a lot of money on alterations.  My favorite stores for petites are Ann Taylor, LOFT, Banana Republic and White House | Black Market. If I’m really dressing up, I love Tootsies and I have used Renttherunway.com many times to rent couture dresses.  When you go to as many dressy events as I do and are photographed all the time you don’t want to wear the same dress twice, so for me renting them has been great.”

ciao bella! “What are your biggest beauty secrets?”

SAMARA “I religiously use my Rodan+Fields face cleansing and moisturizing system twice a day, I drink lots of water throughout the day and I exercise regularly. My #1 favorite thing to do is laugh and smile!  It may create laugh lines, but it’s totally worth it.”

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 23

Congratulations to Andrea Schutter & Daniel Riebeling who were married October 12, 2013 in an intimate ceremony held at The Shell Cave – Festival Hill in Round Top, Texas.  Andrea looked beautiful in a a veil that she crafted and a dress by Biya.

Photographer: Karen Boswell

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Rocking the Red Carpet WITH STYLIST,


by Michelle Leigh Smith


ouston-born Hollywood stylist Alison Kahn is committed to making her clients’ red carpet moments unforgettable. One of her celebrity clients is Emmy and SAG nominated actress, Mayim Bialik, who plays The Big Bang Theory’s Dr. Amy Fowler. Bialik eschews the Hollywood cleavage standard and prefers modest, refined gowns. Always ready to embrace a fashion challenge, Kahn named her search for Bialik's perfect Emmy dress, "Operation Hot and Holy" and came out a winner. The gorgeous, long-sleeved Pamella Roland she chose for Bialik quickly became a red carpet favorite. “For the Emmys which are in September, I start in June,” Kahn said. Right now she is in the midst of her busiest time of year, with three back to back awards shows, The People’s Choice, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild, a week apart. I usually start looking at designs right after the Emmys. It’s crazy - going back and forth to get sketches, then you have the dummy dress for fit a few weeks later, and maybe a month to make the dress. A star like Mayim goes to numerous red carpet events prior to the show. There are dinners, the InStyle party before the Golden Globes, it’s non-stop." Most recently, Kahn did some work with E! network that included some promos for Hello Ross and a Benefit

Stylist Alison Kahn in Los Angeles receiving a special delivery of vintage dresses from Tina Davis, owner of Cheeky Village in Houston.

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 25

cosmetics commercial. She also dressed 24 star Mary Lynn Rajskub in a Nicole Miller for the red carpet.


ABOVE: Alison Kahn with Tina Davis, owner of Cheeky Village boutique in Houston. Kahn loves to shop there for her clients. TOP L to R: • Mayim Bialik is one of Alison Kahn's celebrity clients. • Kahn keeps Bialik looking red carpet ready. Here Bialik is wearing a custom Watters dress for the SAG Awards. • Alison Kahn with designer to the stars, Tadashi Shoji.

26 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

While working toward a degree in international business at Texas Tech University, Kahn changed her major to fashion design and had two internships that changed the course of her life. One of them was with designer Betsy Johnson in New York. “I realized I didn’t want to be a designer,” said Kahn. “Styling was very new at the time, and many designers had an in-house assistant to help, but the profession of styling had not come into vogue. Now you have styling schools and most design houses have a stylist on the team.” Similarly, when master stylist Grace Coddington, Kahn's muse, began her career there was no such thing as a stylist. Back then models carried their own makeup, wigs and accessories and transformed themselves for photo shoots. Coddington had a knack for styling and could pull the perfect piece out of her bag. At British Vogue, Coddington created fantasy travelogues to showcase a season's most important runway looks. That became her signature and she went

to great lengths to get the right shots for her mentor, photographer Norman Parkinson. For example, she once climbed a Grecian column to set off smoke bombs at the feet of her model. For another photographer, she poured vats of cerulean-blue dye into the ocean to achieve the desired shade. It was "all in pursuit of fashion glory," recalled Coddington in the 2002 chronicle of her work, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue.


Kahn returned to college in Lubbock and graduated in 2003. "I started styling in Houston – working with different designers, including David Peck. I am a huge David Peck fan. I love his newsletter. I'm in touch with him quite often. I am also drawn to Nini Jewels, by Nini Hale, a third generation Houston designer carried at Neiman’s who makes some of the most beautiful jewelry I’ve ever seen.” Tina Davis, owner of Cheeky Vintage, a boutique at 2134 Richmond specializing in pieces from the 40’s to the 80’s said, “Alison Kahn is an amazing stylist and talent. Alison read about us and came to see us when she was visiting Houston shopping for her client Mayim Bialik.


L to R: Kahn's celebrity client, Mary Lynn Rajskub. • The Los Angeles Times singled out Bialik's Nini Jewels citrine and sapphire frog bracelet for praise as part of a new trend towards unique and different jewelry. • Bialik in a vintage Kevin Hall at the Twilight premiere. • Bialik wearing Karen Millen.

Alison loves vintage and has shopped my store frequently for her clients. She comes in with very clear ideas. She'll choose garments that speak to her with her client foremost on her mind. Alison effortlessly mixes these vintage couture garments with contemporary pieces, allowing her clients to shine and set themselves apart on the red carpet.” Her strongest fashion influence? “Definitely my mother, Elyce Kahn,” she said. “My mom and I were a great team, I would design things and she would make them for me. There was a white, cowl neck crepe dress that Jennifer Lopez wore in Waiting for Tonight that I had to have for my prom dress. Kahn grew up in Richmond and graduated from Stephen F. Austin in Sugar Land. My mom was such a great seamstress. I’d think of an idea and she’d do it.” When she’s stressed, she calls her mother. “I talk through my schedule with my mom, then I say, OK, I can do this,” Khan shared. Today Kahn lives in Redondo Beach, a California beach community ranked fifth for the rich and single by Money Magazine. Kahn said," Money doesn't define my success. I like to set pretty high goals and I write them down. I talk about them. When I cross a goal off the list I've achieved, I've been successful.” A woman does not have to be a television star to work with Alison Kahn. “When I first meet clients, I like it to be in person so I can see their body type and I can get a feel for what they need. Often they are in another state. Sometimes it’s a Skype session. To understand what they

need and want, I have to assess. I like to look at their closet. 'Do they want to change their style? ” I often ask. "I have one client who will call for a pink Hermes bag or a hard to find designer. Sometimes they just want me to clean out their closet, then they want to book a shopping trip. Women will say, here’s $12,000, find me something great! I go to Tom Ford or Barney’s and it is so much fun!”


"I feel education about fashion is very important,” said Kahn who served on the Board of the Costume Council at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “The Board helped create programming like the Grace Coddington discussion, the Judith Leiber discussion and an evening with Valentino." Kahn hopes to see the Charles James exhibit when it comes to the Menil Collection in Houston, the only museum in the country outside of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art where it will be on view. Charles James: A Thin Wall of Air comes to the Menil at the end of May for a three-month sojourn. James designed for the late Dominque de Menil, as well as for Austine Hearst, wife of William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Gypsy Rose Lee, Millicent Rogers and Babe Paley. When Kahn is flying to meet a client, she loves to read. “I loved Grace Coddington’s bio and I just read the one on Carmen Marc Volvo,” she said. In The Thoughtful Dresser, a thinking woman’s guide to why we want to look our best and why that

matters, author Linda Grant summarily dismissed the notion of fashion as frivolity. "I consider it to be absolutely normal to care deeply about what we wear, and detest the puritan moralists who affect to despise fashion and those who love it," Grant wrote. Alison Kahn is passionate about fashion and uses her creative talent to help her clients express their inner beauty and individuality in unique and spectacular ways. • Fashionistas everywhere may book an appointment with stylist Alison Kahn. Visit her website http://alisonmariekahn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @alisonmkahn and Instagram: @alisonmkahn. Michelle Leigh Smith is a journalist specializing in stories about trailblazing Texas women. March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 27

Everything You Wanted to Know About


But Were Too Tired To Ask


by Hollis Hood

leep is one of the most misunderstood and underrated activities in our frenetic over caffeinated society. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders lists more than 100 sleep maladies that can cause problems ranging from excessive daytime sleepiness to heart attacks. Because good sleep is basic to good health The National Sleep Foundation holds its Sleep Awareness Week each year in March to promote the importance of sleep with an annual public education and awareness campaign. “Magical” things happen during sleep. The sleeping brain elicits Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep in approximately 90-minute cycles. “These brain rhythms are important for the maintenance of both physical and psychological health,” said Dr. Todd Swick of Houston Neurology and Sleep Medicine Consultants. "This is accomplished by regulating hormone secretion such as the release of growth hormone, which aids in body restoration. Sleep also regulates insulin secretion and alters blood 28 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

pressure, breathing and kidney function. REM sleep is the time when our memories of the preceding day are laid down in the brain’s ‘memory banks’ creating ‘long-term memories.’ If someone has a sleep disorder that interferes with these functions, serious medical and psychological problems can result,” said Swick.

ARE YOU BREATHING? In Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), breathing stops for 10 seconds or longer. If there is a partial decrease in breathing, the condition is called hypopnea. Hypopnea, as defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is an airflow reduction of at least 30% for 10 seconds or longer. Both conditions result in less oxygen to the brain. “Each time reduced breath occurs, a change in the brain’s electrical pattern occurs,” Swick said. Sleep Apnea due to OSA is one of the common sleep disorders which cause cyclical pauses in breathing resulting in lowered blood oxygen and disrupted sleep.

The net effect is to produce fragmented and poor quality sleep. “Thinking, memory and muscle activity cannot operate at full capacity without several hours of sleep,” said Sue Ellen Richardson, DDS, whose practice specializes in alleviating breathing obstructions. “Interrupted breathing can result in or exacerbate such diverse conditions as depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, hypertension, coronary artery disease and stroke. OSA has been shown to directly impact restless leg syndrome, insomnia, lung problems, obesity, diabetes, gastro-esophageal reflex, bruxism, hypothyroidism and asthma. Cognitive and psychological issues such as intellectual impairment, moodiness, forgetfulness, emotionally explosive behavior and excessive daytime sleepiness can all come about because of disrupted nighttime sleep from sleep apnea.”

TESTING, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT “Sleeping medications can get you to sleep, but they cannot resolve the underlying problems,” said Richardson. According to a study published in Sleep, the Official Journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS), it is estimated than 93% of women and 82% of men with moderate to severe Sleep Apnea Syndrome have not been correctly diagnosed. However, research shows cardiovascular morality is higher in women with obstructive sleep disorders. "Snoring can indicate disordered breathing, but snoring is often attributed more to men and women’s complaints are frequently not taken seriously,” said Richardson. Women present an array of symptoms that are the same as those for Sleep Apnea such as insomnia, anxiety, weight gain and fibromyalgia, but these conditions are not always associated with a ‘sleep problem.’ Women often begin to have more problems with the onset of menopause and disrupted sleep due to hot flashes. “The uncertainty of not having a definitive diagnosis may evoke a feeling of helplessness or hopelessness. Proper diagnosis and treatment for disrupted sleep will enable them to gain empowerment and involvement in their treatment. Women of every age need to be their own advocates to obtain correct diagnosis and treatment,” Richardson said. It is estimated that more than three million children also suffer from disruptive sleeping behaviors—night terrors, sleepwalking and leg movements and display symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention during the day. Research shows that children with ADHA are 30- 50% more likely to have sleep disordered breathing resulting in restless leg syndrome at night and impulsive and oppositional behaviors during the day. Unfortunately, many women and children go undiagnosed for OSA because their symptoms don’t follow a clinically well-defined pattern (based on research primarily conducted on men). “You may have to ask for a sleep test,” Richardson said. “There is no clinical way to test for sleep disorder except through the sleep test by a sleep specialist.” If a sleep disorder is indicated, the specialist will then recommend treatment such as a dental device, surgery or the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) flow generator at night. “I used the Dental Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) option when my mom developed severe sleep issues. She sought treatment because she couldn’t tolerate the CPAP breathing regime. I was able to fit her with a mandibular advancement device,” said Richardson. “It has literally changed her life, and may have extended it. The device improved her sleep markedly reducing her nightly apnea events. This has been an option for other women as

HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED? Source: National Sleep Foundation

Newborns (0-2 months) Infants (3-11 months) Toddlers (1-3 years) Preschoolers (3-5 years) School-age children (5-10 years) Teens (10-17) Adults

12-18 hours 14-15 hours 12-14 hours 11-13 hours 10-11 hours 8.5-9.25 hours 7-9 hours

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 29

well. Treating OSA may require some lifestyle changes, mouthpiece, breathing device or surgery, but if it extends and improves the quality of your life, it’s worth it,” said Richardson.

THE PERFECT SETTING "Sleep should be the time for rejuvenation and restoration,” said Brad Lustick DC owner of BackBeNimble.com “Upon awakening, if you do not feel better than when you went to bed, there is clearly something wrong," he said. "Rest begins in the mind. Leave the anxiety and chatter outside the bedroom. Relax your mind and the body will follow. Meditation and diaphragmatic breathing exercises can be highly beneficial to encourage relaxation. Although personal preference and tolerance may vary, the optimal ambient room temperature for restorative sleep in most individuals is 68 degrees. Too much television or exposure to strong lighting prior to bedtime may negatively impact chances for a sound sleep." "Proper spinal support is crucial for promoting a restful sleep. Begin on your back, with the use of a contoured orthopedic neck pillow. The relaxing support offered to the neck relaxes surrounding muscles and sets the stage for total physical relaxation,” Dr. Lustick said. “Once this has occurred, it is prudent to either remain there or to turn to a side sleeping posture. Premium Talalay Latex Foam or Memory Foam Mattresses are the superior choice when selecting a mattress. Even spinal support and pressure point reduction are unattainable in other mattress types. Soft beds are overrated and like an overstuffed easy chair, may have a great initial feel, but pale in the long run when it comes to support."

"When it comes to arthritis, your joints may seem like weather forecasters,” said Lustick. “This makes sense because lower barometric pressures can increase inflammation in affected joints throughout the body. Pressure points, like hips and shoulders are easily compromised while sleeping on them. The right mattress and pillow are a necessity, but a healthy "antiinflammatory diet" combined with supplements that support joint cartilage are a nice adjunct as well. Some of the latest foam mattresses not only offer wonderful support but also have temperature controls to help maintain a comfortable, healthy sleep environment which is invaluable. At BackBeNimble.com, we endeavor to see each person's specific sleep needs can be accommodated,” said Dr. Lustick. •

RESOURCES Brad Lustick. D.C. is a retired chiropractor, currently offering back pain solutions and self-care products for a pain free lifestyle, comfort and improved posture via Houston-based website www.backbenimble.com. Lustick is very knowledgeable about wellness and has designed custom bedding and other therapeutic products since 1994. Visit his health and wellness blog at backbenimble.blogspot.com. Sue Ellen Richardson DDS, MAGD: Master in The Academy of College of Dentists since 1991, FICD: Fellow in The International College of Dentists since 1991, FAACP: Fellow in The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, since 2011, and DABDSM: Diplomate in the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine 2013, has dedicated her life to helping patients improve their quality of life, health and self-esteem through comprehensive dentistry. With compassionate care, advanced technology and clinical excellence, Dr. Richardson and team give Houston patients a reason to smile. Todd J. Swick MD, FAAN, FAASM; Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Texas School of Medicine-Houston, Senior physician Neurology and Sleep Medicine Consultants of Houston; Fellow, American Academy of Neurology; Fellow, American Academy of Sleep Medicine; Texas Medical Licensure with certifications by American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult Neurology and Sleep Medicine and by the American Board of Sleep Medicine. 30 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

March Horoscopes by Nan Hall Linke, M. A.

For your APRIL Horoscope go to www.ciaobellamagazine.com

Bell-A-strology M

arch begins with a New Moon in Pisces on 3/1 and ends with a New Moon in Aries on 3/30. In between these two supercharged events, progress, change and surprises are guaranteed to occur.  Militant Mars goes retrograde on 3/1 in Libra, resulting in more time to review our relationships for sources of imbalance and aggravation.  It is past time for a change.  Many of us have outgrown some of the relationships of our past and are looking forward to greater harmony and support from those close to us.  On 3/2 Saturn goes retrograde in Scorpio, relieving some of the never ending financial pressure of the past 2 years.   On 3/6 Jupiter becomes the line leader in our life bringing opportunity, speed, joy, travel and celebration.  We will have a great Full Moon to celebrate on 3/16, and by 3/19 the effects of February's Mercury retrograde pattern will have worn off.  On 3/20 the Sun gets born again in Aries, the engine of action, and demands we become more authentic and original,


(February 19-March 20) Jupiter in your creative sector, combined with the New Moon joining Neptune, gives you unlimited opportunities to soar in all you do and become.  Your finances may improve as some of the struggle is removed.  The New Moons of March improve your self-concept and financial opportunities.  Your spiritual side is guiding you as never before.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Jupiter is improving your home and family life quickly.  Mars retreats in your relationship sector so greater peace ensues.  Conflict with others over finances may be put on the back burner.  There is help from unseen forces and you will have flashes of insight at the end of the month.  You have never been more original or confident of your possibilities.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) As Jupiter moves you forward, expect to feel more lighthearted and optimistic than you have been in months.  Struggles with health and work are lessened, and limits in your relationship life don't have as much power to disappoint you.  A great month to make new friends, spend time with old friends, and take time for yourself.

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 31

GEMINI (May 21-June 21) Jupiter is jumping forward into your income sector with more options than you can juggle.  Feelings of struggle lessen and health, work and personal relationships improve.  The New Moon on 3/1 brings great changes into your career and public life, in ways you never imagined.  Make time at month's end to celebrate with friends and catch up on your networking.

CANCER (June 22-July 22) Jupiter is providing growth for you, quickly and in ways you deserve but have not fully realized.  Travel, opportunity and selfsatisfaction are options that will find you quickly and easily.  Whatever difficulties you have experienced with issues concerning family and home seem to have disappeared.  Creative restrictions are lessened as opportunities abound.  The New Moon of 3/30 is a dynamic time for your career.

LEO (July 23-August 22) Jupiter brings you a feeling of relaxation and optimism:  trust it.  Your mind is more peaceful and not so easily agitated.  You are changing at your core in preparation for the amazing year which begins in mid-July.  Travel is a good investment of your time and resources this month, and new financial opportunities may appear out of the blue.  

VIRGO (August 23-September 22) March begins with a surge in your relationship options and ends with better money options.  Jupiter brings the assistance from others in all you do.  Your mind becomes more optimistic and less distressed by thoughts of what "might" occur.  This month is a major turning point for you so take advantage of all opportunities that come your way and don't use words that don't serve you.  

LIBRA (September 23-October 23) Jupiter brings great career opportunities with the New Moon on 3/1 and follows with better relationship options on 3/30.  Mars softens its rough edge so you can enjoy life more.  Saturn releases the pressure on your financial obligations so you can stop worrying.  Your work environment is more peaceful and many problems magically disappear.

SCORPIO (October 24-November 21) Jupiter urges you to plan and take a trip this month or next.  Look beyond your comfort level and take some calculated risk. Saturn is lighter in your sign, so it is time to exhale and look at the sky. You are exhausted from carrying so much responsibility and this is the month to practice relaxing and not worrying as you are close to solutions in all areas of your life. Take care of your health and improve your habits.  

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21) Jupiter, your ruling planet, is once again bringing your sunny optimism front and center.  Financial pressure lessens and desire to enjoy life thoroughly once again becomes your primary focus.  Home and family life gets a reboot on 3/1 and love relationships and creative activities get better after 3/30.  Take time to rest and dream some new dreams.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19) Jupiter opens up your options in relationships with new people, better communication, and joyful travel plans. If there are unhappy, angry people in your work life, stay peaceful so you are not the target.  Take time to review your personal goals and accomplishments.  A new attitude comes with the New Moon of 3/1 and a better home and family life returns on 3/30.

AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18) Jupiter expands your work and health options with ease. New financial possibilities occur on 3/1 in a most creative manner. Career challenges lessen as Saturn goes retrograde.  Your ruler Uranus energizes your mind in new ways, so review your options again the last week of the month and new insights will occur with the New Moon of 3/30. • 32 ciaobellamagazine.com | March 2014

A professional astrologer since 1971, Nan Hall Linke, M.A. has been featured on television, radio and in magazines and newspapers. She is also a marriage and family therapist who has taught in Houston at the CG Jung Center and Spectrum Cen­t er. To schedule a personal consultation with Nan, please call her at 713-520-1551 and visit her websites www.nanhalllinke.com and www.healingpowerofritual.com.


Boys & Girls Harbor


ounded in 1947, the mission of Boys & Girls Harbor is to provide healthy, comprehensive care for children and families in crisis and serves as a refuge for children ages 5 to 18. The Harbor provides a safe, loving family-like environment in a home setting for children who are experiencing family hardship, neglect, abandonment or abuse. The Harbor has now opened its doors to nonresident children in order to provide a safe place during after-school hours. Through its programs, the Harbor strives to help children learn to overcome self-destructive patterns, break cycles of abuse, develop social skills, learn responsibility, and work towards becoming healthy, happy, and productive members of society. The Harbor welcomes children in need regardless of race, creed, color or financial status. Since opening its doors, the Harbor has helped thousands of children realize their dreams and reach their full potential. With community support, Boys & Girls Harbor can continue to eliminate the tears, fade the emotional scars, and stop disruptive and destructive family patterns for generations to come. Visit http://boysandgirlsharbor.org.




ANNUAL CHILDREN'S FASHION SHOW Hosted by Boys & Girls Harbor Saturday, April 12, 2014 Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston 2222 West Loop South 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Enjoy a gourmet lunch and a runway fashion show produced by Premier Promotions featuring children from Boys & Girls Harbor along with children and grandchildren of those who support the event. Fashions from Little Lords and Ladies for the children, Tootsies for the ladies and Lucho for the men will be featured. Silent and live auctions and a champagne raffle will add to the excitement. For sponsorships, tickets or to donate auction items visit www.boysandgirlsharbor.org.


Photo by Kim Hartz Photography

May 3-4, 2014 • Lakewood Yacht Club 2425 NASA Parkway; Seabrook, Texas Keels and Wheels is Texas premier classic automobile show founded by Lakewood Board Members Bob Fuller and Paul Merryman in 1995. Keels & Wheels judges evaluate approximately 40 classes for cars and 20 classes for boats. Named one of the Best Auto Events of 2014 by MSN.com, Keels & Wheels has raised more than $1.3 million for local charities. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Harbor. Grand Marshal of the event is Wayne Carni, star of Chasing Classic Cars who will bring his crew to film an episode of his show seen on the Velocity Channel. To sponsor or purchase tickets, visit www.keels-wheels.com or email Bob Fuller at Concours Chairman bfuller@4u.com or call 713.521.0105.

SWEET ISABEL, a Labrador Retriever/Terrier/ American Pit Bull mix has been in boarding for over two years and needs a loving home. She is fully vetted, spayed, housetrained, up to date with shots and good with dogs. She knows all of her commands and has a mellow, sweet temperament; however, Isabel is not a fan of cats. (ID#: 4660128) Email: marlene@forgottenpetadvocates.com. Learn more about Isabel and other pets who have been abandoned in boarding facilities and need good homes at www.forgottenpetadvocates.com.

March 2014 | ciaobellamagazine.com 33


Emily Shuffield, Sarah Gruber

Isabelle Armstrong Launch at Casa de Novia

Katy Mayell Ellis, Luvi Wheelock

Johanna Kraft and Tara Nattini

Dec My Room Benefit at Tootsies

Casa de Novia Bridal Couture hosted a reception celebrating the launch of Isabelle Armstrong of New York, one of the newest names in the couture fashion world, with a personal appearance by the designer Johanna Kraft and president Tara Nattini. Exclusively sold at Casa de Novia in Houston, the Isabelle Armstrong collection was on full display as future fiancés, brides-to-be, fashionistas and Bayou HEROns toasted the new line’s launch while perusing luxurious gowns. Guests were gracefully greeted with champagne to toast the new line while enjoying lite bites. A portion of proceeds from the trunk show benefited Bayou HEROns, the young professionals group of Bayou Preservation Association.

Tootsies hosted Love’s in Fashion to benefit Dec My Room Charlie Dina with his hero an organization which creates Johnny Manziel personalized, comforting rooms for children and young adults who are admitted into the hospital for a prolonged period of time. The fashion show featured philanthropic couples donning the latest Tootsies fashions.  Karina and Carlos The twosomes included: Elizabeth Barbieri and Daryl Allen, Karina and Carlos Barbieri, Gina Gaston and Mario Elie, Duyen Huynh and MarcMarc, Jenna Jackson and Brendan Gilbert, Natalie Lefevre and Jürgen Pichler, Vivian Wise and Sergio Morales, Patti and Don Murphy, Susan and Michael Plank, Clifford Pugh and John Dascoulias, Layla and Walter Salek, Millette and Haag Sherman, Jenee and Nick Stefaniks, Brittany and Max Tribble, Holly Waltrip and Mike Long, and Noel and Scott Wise. Photo credit: Michelle Leigh Smith

Joanne King Herring, Mickey Rosmarin and Kelly Krohn

Dr. Mike Heitmann with wife Alice Womble

Trailblazer Award Luncheon & Style Show

Cyndy Garza and Michelle Wasaff

Trailblazer Committee chairman Michelle Wasaff was thrilled with the energy, glamour and style seen in the crowd of 800 that packed the Royal Sonesta ballroom for the "Treasure the Tradition" fundraising luncheon and fashion show. Page Parkes’ models featured western fashions by Ralph Lauren and Tahari provided by Saks. KPRC’s Channel Matt Fuqua, Brook Luz 2’s Dominque Sachse emceed the event honoring and Christian Fuqua women who have given outstanding volunteer service to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The five honorees included Julie Shannon (who won the Pearl Award), Nancie Craft, Ann Page, Wendy Vandeventer, and Betty Wiseman. Photo Credit: Michele Leigh Smith

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Ciao Bella! March-April 2014  

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

Ciao Bella! March-April 2014  

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