Sins Of A Queen

Find Out Italian Design and Cooking Secrets!

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual. Her design reach is global and she is always ready to serve.

“I build spaces that do not exist yet, but they exist in your mind. I build your dreams!” Valentina

Valentina is the coordinator for the San Francisco Bay area event with different stores called “October the Month of Italian Style”. The event revolves around Valentina talking on a design subject related to the merchandise the store sells, they have food, wines, raffles and good time while people learn from her expertise. She makes the event really fun, lot of laughter and joy fill the event. One of the topics this year is about “Etiquette at an Italian dining table” (when in Rome, do like the Romans).

Filming is ready to commence for a design show with an Italian T.V. company which will feature the most beautiful homes she has designed in San Francisco Bay Area. The show will air in Italy close to the end of the year.

Valentina is available for anyone who needs the magical Valentina’s touch.

“Italian Luxury for Comfortable Living” – Pure – Elegant – Original.”

Listen to Valentina on blogtalkradio, June 14, 2011 9 a.m. PDT.  Call in and ask her any design questions at 347-994-1903 and find out about her cook books!  She will be talking about how she combines the cook books with design work for the kitchen.

Valentina has been an Interior Designer since 1990 to present · San Francisco, California

  • Architectural Interior Designer
  • Designs new beautiful homes
  • Remodels ugly homes
  • Turns shacks into a castles
  • Designs any space with architectural drawings

She has received awards from: U.S. Commerce Association “Best Of Local Business” July 2010. U.S. Local Business Association award “Best Of Sunnyvale Award” December 2008.

The focus of her design is on kitchens, Wine Cellars/Grottos, Bathrooms and Entertainment Centers. In her designs, she includes landscaping concepts, lighting, architectural color analysis, furniture and custom designed furniture, which she always manages to produce locally, resulting in a good saving for her clients. She also designs office spaces and restaurants.

A new addition to her business is design GLOBAL consultation on-line any where in the country and abroad.

“As the professional who is always ready, I shall be prompt and ready to help you with any of your needs, whether it will be decorating, designing, or remodeling.”….”Every person who has a home deserves to live in beauty, harmony and comfort. My goal is to touch and transform people’s lives.”

Valentina’s cook books will delight your palate with healthy Italian recipes.

Valentina was born in Bari, Italy to a family of artists, designers and food connoisseurs.

Valentina goes to Italy! She organizes culinary tours that delve into the rich history, beautiful architecture and the discovery of hidden corners and food of her homeland. Valentina is an avid, passionate cook. She takes interest in cuisines of the world and she is especially interested in food in the history. She is an intellectual, entertainer, teacher of cooking classes, a designer and world trotter.

Cook books available NOW:

Sins Of A Queen Sins of a Queen

The book is easy to read with large font and beautiful pictures of her delicacies handed down from her Italian Heritage. An added bonus is the color prints of her original artwork. This woman is someone you want to connect with on facebook and buy her cook books! She has a third book coming out on color.

Come Mia Nonna- A Return To Simplicity

This book is a tribute to slow food and appreciation of life, a life made with human rhythms. A return to simplicity because these recipes from the Region of Puglia, in Italy are so very uncomplicated that even if you have never cooked in your life, you will be able to put an attractive dinner together in a short, short time.

valentinadesigns.com

valentinaexpressions.com

valentinadesigns blog

Book Come Mia Nonna

Book Sins Of A Queen

Connect with Valentina on facebook

Valentina has been invited to write a new column about deisgn for the Philippe Matthews site

She will be on his radio show and will be filming her homes for the TV side of the PM Show in the next few months!

 

Set a reminder and don’t miss Valentina Cirasola on blogtalkradio, June 14, 2011 9 a.m. PDT. Call in and ask her any design or cooking questions at 347-994-1903 and find out more about her cook books, her cooking classes along with trips to Italy!

Meet Valentina Cirasola and share her design and cooking secrets Tuesday June 14, 2011!

Glocal #6 Part 2 Lesson of the Omelet

Glocal Lesson Of The Omelets Part 1

The rest of the story….not having a camera available for the “photo op” at the omelet bar in Nassau where I experienced part 1 of the lesson of the omelets led me to re-create the situation at a later date to have digital images for the “glocal” moment. While staying in the rain forest on the Amazon above Manaus, Brazil the opportunity arose to capture the “lesson of the omelet” in the Amazon Eco Park at the breakfast buffet. The photo of the omelet with the man behind the stove possibly shows the sentiment of some of the residents along with the local actions reported in a newspaper article. You can be the judge of the lesson of the lesson of the omelet in Manaus, Brazil.

It has taken me some time to publish this post as I was not sure how to represent the other side of “Connecting The Dots Around The World.” When I embarked on this journey around the world, I had some kind of “Polly Anna” idea that there would be some mystic revelations and everything would be positive and would write as PF Kluge shared in a Global Studies class on the ship “Happy Yappy” reports. PF Kluge is an instructor on thevoyage around the world and has been described on his website as “Novelist, journalist, professor: a trifecta, a hat trick, a trinity.” He tells it like it is and minces no words. He co-authored the “Life” magazine article that was the basis of the movie “Dog Day Afternoon.”

After some deep contemplation of the experience in Manaus it appeared as though there are mixed messages from the government vs. the people. Manaus had to hire security and 5 extra agents to be “present” by the dock as the ship community walked around. An article indicating “Students Pay $300 Per Day To Learn About The World” can’t be located online in the January 25, 2011 Amazonas em Tempo newspaper. The Newspaper article was shared in a journalism class on the ship as the students had to bring articles in from the ports to discuss in class. Where did the online article go?  Could it be that public sentiment might not be what Brazil should be publishing with the current world events coming to the country?  What did that headline say to the people of Manaus?  According to a text book we are using on the ship for our daily global studies class “Atlas of Global Development” a poverty map indicates 10 to 24% of the population in Brazil lives on less than $1.25 per day?

It appears as through Brazil is working hard to change the past image with street violence and life in the favelas.

Our group had different Manaus experiences with street people attempting to take jewelry right off the neck of a lifelong learner.

Several students were bitten or scratched by monkey’s and had to have rabbi shots after being attacked in the lobby of a hotel with pet monkey’s running around.

There was an encounter with a stalker following a group of three women. Nothing happened as the man went off after being confronted, however, it appeared as though he had a gun under his shirt in his back pocket as he walked away.

A student shared an incident where a bus driver took the long way around back to town which included an unscheduled stop for lunch and an accident dragging a woman on the ground as the bus took off where he then had to get off the bus and get on a different bus as the bus driver took the woman to the hospital.

Five days in Manaus, Brazil seemed like a long time when one of the University officials on the ship indicated in a pre-port lecture, 2 days was enough for Manaus.

Our visit might have been a beta test for things to come in Brazil. One newspaper article reports: “As Brazil prepares to host the 2016 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup, the country expects nothing short of an urban renaissance.”

Brazil is preparing for The world cup in Manaus in four years and in eight years Rio will host the Olympics.

The PR blitz has started and it appeared as we could have been the recipients of practice for the future. In describing preparations for the arrival of the MV Explorer, the local paper, “A Critical,” expressed the fact the Military Police had security and five agents to monitor activities at the port. They also referred to the ship as a “luxury hotel” could this  have possibly been an indication of the “back story” of the Brazilian attitudes about the visitors with the need for protection along with the interesting description of the ship.

The Newspaper article from “A Critical”  was in Portuguese.

“O navio está em Manaus desde a manhã de ontem, e os visitantes foram recepcionados por um grupo de dança folclórica. ‘Estaremos à disposição dos estudantes’, informou o diretor de turismo da Amazonastur, Jordan Gouvêa. Em Manaus, o grupo de universitários terá segurança garantida pela Polícia Militar, que destacou cinco agentes para acompanhar as atividades no porto.

Translated to English:

“The ship is in Manaus since yesterday morning, and visitors were greeted by a folk dance group. ‘We will be available to students,’ the tourism director of AmazonasTur, Jordan Gouvea. In Manaus, the group of students will have security provided by the Military Police, said that five agents to monitor activities at the port. “

More in Portuguese:

“Liberdade de escolha A coordenadora de extensão Debbie Clifford foi quem levou a equipe de A CRÍTICA para conhecer o navio, que mais parece um hotel de luxo e cuja língua oficial é o inglês. ‘A viagem dura 104 dias, portanto tem de tudo aqui’, explicou, contando que no MV Explorer há desde salas de aula, até um deck com piscina, além de refeitórios e quartos. Em solo amazônico, os alunos terão por volta de 35”\

English translation:

“Freedom of choice The extension coordinator Debbie Clifford was the one who led the team of A CRITICAL to meet the ship, which looks more like a luxury hotel and whose official language is English. “The trip lasts 104 days, so it has everything here,” he said, noting that since the MV Explorer for classrooms up to a deck with swimming pool, and dining areas and bedrooms. In Amazonian soil, students will have around 35 activities.”

Connecting the lesson of the Omelet, taking the global thinking to local action, going glocal.

Before docking at our first port, a camera etiquette lesson was provided to the ship community emphasizing  the importance of requesting permission to take photos in the countries we were visiting. Being a respectful student, the omelet man at the Amazon Eco Park was asked if it would be possible to photograph an omelet prior to actually taking the picture. He indicated it would be ok and stepped back from the omelet pan. The photo was taken quickly to get out of the way. When the photos was being cropped the real sentiment of the worker in Brazil at the Amazon Eco Park became evident with his hand gesture.

The article along with the local comments online indicate the feelings of the community. Thinking global and acting local, this representation of the community is a reminder that people are watching what a community does to respond to visitors.

Visitors look at what is going on in an area, what is being written in the newspaper and then make their decisions as to what direction they will take with coming back or sharing the experience with friends.

Learning from the omelet maker in Nassau and the gentleman above shows the WORLD his feelings. The action has an effect on how a visitors perceive the area.

The Amazon Eco Lodge rain forest jungle experience was all good! We had a very knowledgeable guide and pleasant memories. We learned how to survive with water from a parasite root, create poison darts from palm tree spikes an special moss along with making fire torches from the sap of a camphor tree. Our guide was delightful, he loved his land and shared that with us. We caught a piranha and one of the guides caught a caiman alligator so we had a great Amazon rain forest experience. Would I tell someone to visit to Manaus, Brazil?  You be the judge!

The “glocal” lesson of the omelet is to embrace those visiting your community anywhere in the world with kindness and respect. Everyone in the community needs to be on board as the message is coming across loud and clear.  Community involvement and individual dedication to the economic survival of the area or even an individual business is a must to change perceptions and attract new immersion from those testing the waters and looking to see what the location has to offer.

Remember, the actions within a community express the attitude of your environment. Be like the omelet lady from Nassau. Embrace all visitors with appreciation for their participation in your community if you want the local area to grow and prosper together.

Don’t forget to “Get in the game” as there is plenty of time. Win a travel voucher and great prizes to one of the seven wonders of the world. This is an exciting opportunity to experience  Williams, Arizona, The Gateway to the Grand Canyon, a town that embraces its visitors and wants to create a memorable experience so you will be sure to tell your friends about the Grand Canyon and all it’s grandeur.

The World Is My Classroom!

The World Is My Classroom!

Today was the first day of class for Spring 2011 Semester At Sea, the 104th voyage of this floating University.  I awoke at 6:55 a.m. and needed to make my first class at 8:00 a.m.  Visions of Colorado State University, 1974 danced in my head and I knew I could make the class.  I pulled on my jeans and t-shirt, put on my “Skecher’s” pulled back my hair etc. etc., grabbed my notebook and took off to the Dining Hall.  There I filled my “food network” coffee mug, ate some pineapple chunks and got to class on time.

The world is my classroom!

Exhilaration is the feeling that rushed through my 57 year old body on the first day in the floating, world classroom. I took some time to silently express my gratitude for this incredible opportunity to be able to become part of a 700 member ship board community. To be able to learn how global issues can be assimilated and the lessons brought right back home to our own cities and towns.  It’s energizing to go   “glocal” Thinking Globally and Acting Locally.

The college classmates around me were laughing with each other about not getting their pictures for the first day at school and of course I could not resist and had to take the photo op. I do have pictures of my daughters first day of school from Kindergarten to Freshman at college… So these were fun photos for Tom and me!

Carra Riley first day of Class Semester At Sea

Juliana Acheson, PH.D is the dynamic instructor for Anthropology 3000 “Food and Culture.” She is traveling with her husband and two daughters.  I am hoping to work with her children on the Cosmic Kids e-workbooks and really have some great research on how the principles in Cosmic Cow Pie come together for kids.

Dr. Juliann Acheson

The “Food and Culture”  class is so popular it had to be moved to the Student Union to accommodate all the students wanting to learn about Food and Culture.  Instructor Acheson started out requiring the classroom be configured in a circle so everyone could see everyone else.  The students were way out of their comfort zone in re-arranging the room.  The effect of the activity was interesting as the results of the group coming together in a circle created an instant connection among the participants.  Leave it to an Anthropology instructor to show such a good example in human behavior and how to get people to engage.

The first question Dr. Acheson asked the group to share around the circle was “What is the most recent NEW food you have tried that you liked?

I had to take a few minutes to stop and think about my food habits.  Trying new things has been something that I have not consciously thought about for a long time. Pondering the question and thinking about my behavior, I have to say I have not been very adventuresome about trying new foods lately.  What a great blog post this can be for people to start conversation or even a fb update. The list of new foods the students had recently tried and “liked” went from blueberries, brussel sprouts cherries, an omelet, pomegranate, chicken masala to raw heart, squid ink pasta, conch, frog legs, buffalo, bear guiney pig, chocolate covered worms, citric ants, sea urchins, and monkey brains.  No joke, one young lady said monkey brains!  I thought the student might be taking a line right out of Raiders of the lost Ark but evidently in South America, where she had visited it is a delicacy and she tried it. The raw heart was something a lifelong learner had tried in Pakistan.  We had young students and mature lifelong learners sharing their food experiences and touching one another by stimulating the concept of adventure with food around the world. There were certainly some real “foodies” in this group and it inspired my thought to consider trying new food, culture and the countries we are going to be visiting with a different vision and attitude.

After attending school this morning, I signed up for a cooking class in Brazil. We will create our own dinner with a chef using local products!

Teaching and learning is happening all over this ship at all times of the day and night.

Last night we had our first group meeting to discuss the book “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson. The book is an account of how one man with a vision built 54 schools in Pakistan to help educate women and children. The discussion delved into why and how this man was able to do what he did with only a dream and a passion for helping others.

Discussion group talking about the transformation process of a trip around the world together

The entire ship population, including 66 lifelong learners and 598 students are divided into groups of about 20 participants.  The group will get together before and after ports to discuss what we expect and then after we return what we observed then later, how it manifested in our thoughts. The Semester At Sea vision is to create an “experiential” education event which can possibly transform the lives of those participating.

What did I learn today? I need to be open to trying new food options. Not sure if I am going to eat everything we are exposed to but I will be open and watch those who do! The big lesson is just being receptive to new concepts presented by different cultures with a respect for their values.

The world is my classroom and I am ready to learn!

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