All posts by Amy Scalia

Summer Style Gala This Wednesday

Summer Style GalaWe’re doing a really cool event this Wednesday at James Free Jewelers to showcase all the hottest summer trends. Some of their jewelry designers are coming into town for the event, so you will not only get to see the styles but you can also meet the makers!

I also brought J Lee Rabiner with Doncaster Fashionistas, a private label clothier, into this event to dress models in the latest clothing fashions. My friends over at Tuscany Spa.Salon agreed to provide the hair and makeup on the models, and will feature this summer’s freshest hair/makeup trends as well.

James Free is doing 25% off nine featured designers, for four hours only (4-8pm) this Wednesday! I hope you’ll join me at this tres trendy event! It’ll be at the James Free Jewelers in Old Montgomery (9555 Main Street).

To rev up for the event, I got to interview one of the jewelry designers who will be featured at the event, Barbara Westwood. Enjoy this Q&A about her wearable art.

Tell me about your new collections for this Summer.
My collections are: Doors and Windows, Water, Clouds, Sky, Love and Horizons.

For “Doors and Windows”: Jewelry is a perfect metaphor.  What it represents cannot be seen or heard; yet it can be felt.  What it means is only known to the wearer.  It can be a reminder or a marker for transformations, beginnings, endings, realizations, direction, and decisions. Doors and Windows is a symbol for any of the portals of life

I’m introducing a new collection: “Horizons”
With each new edition in the one of a kind collections I am  reminded of how jewelry can transform even the quietest of memories and experiences.
One day at the beach I looked out over the horizon and found complete calm as I viewed this commom, yet magical line we all see. I asked how is it that this line merging earth and sky could evoke this feeling of  contentment and peace.

This is the kind of mystery and magic that inspires me to create.  This effortless feeling is what I wanted to capture in this collection.  Knowing that no words can really touch this, I brought forth this idea of calm by introducing a dividing line of diamonds between two different stones.  Although this is a metaphor I needed my own reminder that peace of mind is experienced within, and am happy to share this idea, as thought to form, with you my wonderful Collectors.

What are some big colors you’re working with for Summer?
Turquoise has been the most important color and gemstone I am working with this season.  Everyone just loves the color.

Be on the lookout for a new collection I have called “The Sedona Collection” using turquoise and Mexican Cuprite agate.

Prada Taste on a Payless Budget

Yesterday was my birthday. So, like a good little bday girl, I blocked the day off for shopping and pampering!

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law and I went to Mi Salon & Spa in Florence for pedicures. I went there on a recommendation from Debba at Girlfriendology, and I loved it! Afterward, I decided to do a little shopping at Macy’s downtown.

I had $75 in promotional gift certificates that were going to expire, so I thought I’d treat myself on the cheap! I had a few things I actually needed, so I was excited to do some damage, without really doing damage to our budget!

Because I’m teaching four spinning classes a week at Keep It Tight, I need new workout clothes and also some new no-wrinkle dresses that I can throw in my gym bag to wear to work. I also wanted new shoes because it was my birthday and it’s fun to buy shoes.

I have to tell you, I was sooooo disappointed in the Macy’s selection. I searched all over trying to find workout wear, to eventually find out they didn’t carry any. I searched high and low for cute dresses, but it was all mostly outdated styles and frump wear.

Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedges (originally $695.00, sale price $485.99)

I will say, there were a few cute dresses, but even with their 20% off sale, they would have still been more than $100. Sorry, more than I’m looking to spend for something I’ll be stuffing in a gym bag.

I went down to their shoe department, sure I’d find something there. No, again! The Jessica Simpson line was the only redeeming element of their shoe department. But unfortunately Jessica’s line is a little too hoochy-momma for my work wear (I needed new work shoes), so I didn’t make any new purchases there either.

I ended up spending my $75 on some very not-so-exciting things: hosiery, shapewear and a belt.

But after this two-hour-long search for a little splurge, I couldn’t go home without buying something a little fun. It was my birthday afterall. So, I went across the street to Saks. I had shoes on the brain, so I made a bee line for that department. They had a much better selection, but they were waaaaay overpriced.

I found some super cute Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedges. I saw “sale price” and thought “ooooh, goody!” That is until I saw that the original price was $695, and they were on sale for the bargain basement price of $485.99. I shrugged my shoulders in defeat and waved bye bye to the pretty Prada. And off to Payless I went.

Payless Canvas Knot Wedge ($24.99)

And man oh man did I splurge. And it was fun to splurge there. Such cute stuff and they had great prices. Although, I will say Payless has price hiked a little – their most expensive pump is pushing $26 now (I remember when they maxed out at $12/pair). But still, $26 is MUCH easier to stomach for a simple little splurge than $485.99!

I got several new shoes, and I’m really, really happy about them! And every time I wear them, I’ll remember my birthday search for a splurge. Oh yeah, and I’ll again be reminded that I have Prada taste on a Payless budget!

I also ended up buying these ruffle pumps ($24.99) because they looked so similar to my Stuart Weitzman black ruffle pumps ($179, Cincy Designer Shoes). I wear my Weitzmans all the time, so I figure I’ll have an inexpensive backup pair when they wear out! Now that’s some smart splurging!

Chic This Week: Crack the Car Conundrum

Crack the Car ConundrumCrack the Car Conundrum

Simple steps to auto health

Whether you drive a car or sport an SUV, your vehicle takes you from point A to point B, so you might want to protect that investment. One local female auto expert shares five easy (and inexpensive) ways to keep your car safe and sound.

Red, Pink and Blue 2010
On June 25, the Purple People Bridge will transform into a runway for a fun, fashionable and philanthropic event! Read on to learn more about it and get your tickets before it sells out.

Anti-Age Your Auto
Your trusty steed braves the rain and snow and everything else to get you where you want to go. Now it’s time to give your car some pampering (and protection) with this local company.

Elite Fleet
Get revved up to learn more about Concours d’Elegance, an event that attracts 5,500 of its closest friends and the most elite automobiles in the region.

Pedal for Peace
It is possible to exercise, have fun and support a good cause all at the same time, and two local multi-taskers are making it happen. Learn how you can join in their efforts.

Car Couture
A local expert explains how you can get your car looking just as fabulous and fashionable as you do with vehicle graphics for any taste and budget.

Fueled for Ford
Move over, Mustang Sally, because Mustang Brenda is in town! But she doesn’t just want to ride around. Learn how she’s putting her efforts to help others ride too.

Chic Spotlight: Chrome Diva Michelle Bradley
Take a ride on the wild side with this local police officer by day and biker by night. Discover how she and her group use their motorcycles to fight against breast cancer.

Editor in Chic: Tibby Time
Our Editor in Chic explains why she loves her car so much — despite its old age and blemishes — and how she gave it a new lease on life.

Total Body Wellness: Rev up Your Physique
If you’re looking to change your physique, look to your car. You might be surprised at how a car’s engine relates to your burns fat, but our fitness columnist pops the hood on the topic.

Express Picks: Socially more than Acceptable
Meet a creator of cutting-edge HBO TV shows, get your dose of Broadway dreams, spend a day in the park in automotive heaven, or “brunch down” with Cincinnati’s best chefs and 7 Days for SIDS.

Orange on Green: Getting in the Financial Driver’s Seat
Planning your money is a lot like driving your car. Improving your skills will enable you to hit the pavement more equipped to react to certain road conditions.

Ask Patty: Dealing with a Stalker
Breaking up is never easy, especially when one partner doesn’t want to let go. When having trouble moving on turns into downright stalking, use these tips from our relationship columnist.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
June 8 – eWomenNetwork “Accelerated Networking” Event
June 15 – Business at Breakfast: Network Your Way to Profitability
June 16 – Summer Style Gala
June 17 – Work Smart, Not Hard! Workshop
June 18 – Chic Chef Cooking Series
June 19 – Silverton’s Fourth Annual Art & Wine Festival

Renie’s Extensions – Part 2

renie before/afterIn February, I told you about my friend Renie who got extensions after a bad haircut made her look a little too tragic for public consumption.

Four months later, she’s now certifiably addicted to extensions. Before, she just got extensions in the front for an angled bob – just to give her a little length around the face. Now, she wants Rapunzel-rivaling long hair.

I wasn’t sure about this. I remember I tried on  Jessica Simpson clip-in extensions a year ago and I looked like a blonde hillbilly. But there was no talking Renie out of it. She wanted long hair.

So, last week, we went back up to Perfections Salon in Montgomery to get them put in and I documented the process (see video below). We were there for several hours, and here’s the breakdown:

First, she had to get a straightening treatment for her real hair. She has a ton of curl naturally, so they needed that out so it could match the texture and curl of the extensions. Then they colored her real hair to match the extensions. Then they put in more than $1,000 worth of extensions (to give you an idea of how much hair they put in, each extension is $7). Then they did a “Balayage” treatment (hand painted highlights) to add a little dimension to the color and match the various colors of extensions they put in. Then they did a dry cut. The salon owner Kenneth said drycutting is important because it doesn’t split the ends of the hair. The extensions are only cut once (when you get them installed) so it’s important they aren’t damaged before you even walk out the door.

This particular salon uses “DreamCatchers by Paris Hilton” extensions. With these, they put your real hair and the extension in a tiny cylinder together and then clamp it at your scalp. Then, when your hair grows out a little, they unclamp the cylinder, move it up and reclamp. That way, it doesn’t ruin your natural hair and you can keep the extensions in as long as you want (up to seven or eight months, after which they start to get a little wonky looking I hear).

All in all, this was a $1,200 process, but I have honestly never seen Renie look better or be more confident. She’s the Samantha of our girlfriend group, so I won’t go into details. But Renie definitely has her sexy back thanks to these extensions. ; – )

Watch the video below to see the transformation take place!


This Week on Cincy Chic: Hometown Heroes

hometown heroesHometown Heroes

Inspiring people around town

Superman can’t really fly, and Spiderman can’t spit webs out of his wrists. Shelve the comic books this week and read about two real-life heroes, who have super powers of courage, strength and compassion. Their stories are bound to inspire.

Remembering Heather Ray
One local woman devoted her life to the fight against cancer. Learn how her positive impact lives on through her donations and inspiration.

Stopping Traffick
A Northern Kentucky woman lifts the veil on human trafficking one case at a time, and she works to give a voice to victims she says are often ignored.

Fostering a Future
Helping as many children as possible is one local woman’s life goal. Read on to see how she makes that dream become a reality through foster care.

Haircuts from the Heart
A new haircut can make all the difference in your look and self-confidence. So one local woman’s organization offers hair care to help the homeless get ahead and have a fresh sense of dignity.

Fashion for a Cause
A local non-profit organization sells products that are handmade by artists in Africa. Find out how a certain Cincinnati hero is accomplishing all of this and more.

Chic Spotlight: Teacher, Inspiration — Melissa Giese
This local lady has a knack for patience and a heart for compassion. Learn how she’s helping build children’s futures from the Queen City all the way to the Dominican Republic.

Editor in Chic: An Unforgettable Hero
Heroes don’t have to stay long to make a difference. Our Editor in Chic explains how an earth angel briefly came into her life and left a lifelong impression.

McCoy on Movies: “Sex and the City 2” Movie Review
The good news: “Sex and the City” is back. But is that where the good news ends? Our movie critic fills you in on the fab four’s latest appearance.

Orange on Green: Spend Money, Save Your Family
One local couple became heroes to their children and family with one financial decision. Learn more about how they protected their future and how you can do the same.

Total Body Wellness: The Hero Next to You in the Gym
With all of the high-profile athletes in the media, you might be surprised by some of the biggest fitness inspirations in the city. Our fitness expert shares how you can inspire and be inspired.

Chic Eats: Seared Scallop BLT
Celebrate a culinary hero at your next dinner party. This week our Chic Chef salutes the sea scallop with a Seared Scallop BLT drizzled with a Lemon Truffle Emulsion.

Express Picks: Enjoy the Variety
You can test your boundaries at Cincinnati Fringe or improve your knowledge of the Bard at Cincy Shakes. Discover what this week can bring to your calendar with our events columnist’s picks.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
June 1: Teaching Empowerment Expo
June 2: Free Lunch ‘n ‘Learn: Low Maintenance High Impact Landscape
June 4 – June 6: Summerfair
June 8 – eWomenNetwork “Accelerated Networking” Event
June 15 – Business at Breakfast: Network Your Way to Profitability
June 16 – Summer Style Gala
June 17 – Work Smart, Not Hard! Workshop
June 18 – Chic Chef Cooking Series
June 19 – Silverton’s Fourth Annual Art & Wine Festival

SATC2 and Sexy in the City

genie pant
Arabian Chic looks from SATC2. Carrie sporting new "Genie Pants" (click to enlarge)

I watched the “Sex and the City 2” movie, and I was pretty bummed. I just couldn’t relate much.

Helloooo…. Abu Dhabi is where Garfield sends Nermal. That’s not where normal people vacation. Oh and Samantha was officially what my friends call OC (outta control). She flipped off Muslim clerics as her handbag spewed condoms during prayer time. Yeah, that’s not going to help our international relations with Arabic countries.

I miss the days where Carrie didn’t have the cash to finish her floors, so Aidan swooped in and did them for her. I can relate to that. That’s real. Unfortunately not real enough to get my husband to refinish our floors at home, though.  : – /

I’ll get off my soapbox here in a sec, but I do hope the SATC franchise remembers who their sexless-the-suburb fans are. We want them to be different enough to wish we were them, but “relateable” enough to have shared some of the same experiences. I didn’t relate to anything. Between Samantha’s estrogen pills, the opulent trip to Abu Dhabi and comments like “how do moms without nannies do it all?” they’re OC and need to get back on my believability meter. Just sayin’…

I will say SATC2 was OC in one good way: The fashion. I have a feeling this movie is going to inspire a slew of “Arabian Chic” trends that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. In fact, I already saw “genie pants” at Paris J Boutique in Montgomery! They’re basically harem pants but puffier at the bottom. (Think Princess Jasmine in “Aladin”) Also, lots of thick, bright gold jewelry with rich gem tones. We’ll see a resurgence of sheer material and turban headdresses will soon become on-trend as well.

I’ll be on Fox19 at 8:15am June 2 with SATC2-inspired looks from ALK Fashion, Serket Jewelry (two amazing local designers btw) and Aldo Shoes. DVR it, watch us live, or check back to this blog for a video of the segment! I’m excited to do it!

Also, pseudo SATC related, I learned about this “Sexy in the City” event you might be interested in. Full disclosure, Keep it Tight Fitness is a Cincy Chic client (but I’m not being paid to promote the event here). Also… super excited about this… I just started as a Spin instructor there! I’m there (in Mason) MWF 6am and on Saturday 8am. Come by and check out my class if you get the chance! And definitely check out this “Sexy in the City” event. Sounds super chic!

This Week on Cincy Chic: Summer in the Cincy

Summer in the CincySummer in the Cincy

Hot weather hang outs

Cincinnati summers bring more than just pool-side days, barbecue parties and air-conditioned bliss. They also bring the re-opening of several local businesses. Read on for a guide to the best places for outdoor drinks and dining.

Nail It
Flip flops and sandals are finding their way back on your feet, so you need to be ready to show off your tootsies. Learn what Tip Toe Nail Studio has to keep your nails in summer style.

Bowled Over
Newport on the Levee managed to make bowling chic with its newest addition. Learn more about the new night club, restaurant, bowling alley combo that’ll keep your social life out of the gutter.

Stylishly Hot
Your look can be just as steaming as Cincinnati’s 90-degree days with this fashion forecast of all of the season’s hottest trends. Check out these four new looks that’ll heat up your wardrobe.

Summer Beauty Guide
You might want to think twice about that bold lipstick, and hold off on the shimmer. One local beauty expert shares her tips for the beauty trends this season.

Biking to New Heights
Across the country people are hopping on their two-wheel method of transportation, and the city’s making it easier. Read on to learn more about Cincinnati’s plan that’s already in action.

Leading the Way to Leadership
One workplace trend has women headed for success, but is that where you’re headed? Find out some expert tips to developing your own leadership qualities.

Chic Spotlight: Park District Commissioner Nancy Hamant
After earning three degrees and serving more than 40 years on University of Cincinnati faculty, this local woman is taking more than just a walk in the park. She’s filling you in on how you can too.

Editor in Chic: A Timeless Trend
Our Editor in Chic recently met Stacy London and Clinton Kelly from TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” See what they taught her about current trends and  how to find the look that’ll never go out of style.

Total Body Wellness: Hot Trends to Try in the Gym
Next time you’re heading to the gym, print off this column and bring it with you. You’ll be thrilled with the results.

Orange on Green: Save Yourself
Don’t miss out on the newest summer financial trend — saving. Learn how to become financially hip by transforming your cash flow philosophy.

McCoy on Movies: “Shrek The Final Chapter” Movie Review
Everyone’s favorite ogre is back for one last go-round. But do all things end well for Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona and the rest of the Far, Far Away gang? Get the scoop by clicking here!

Express Picks: Spice up This Week’s Calendar
Misbehave at Playhouse in the Park, strut your new hat at Ault Park, experience Vegas with the Pops, or immerse yourself in new visual art around the city. Check out this weeks’ picks from our events columnist.

Ask Patty: Does Divorce Run in the Family?
With America’s divorce rate, there’s a 50 percent chance you have divorced parents. But does that mean your relationship will follow the same path to splitsville, too? Our relationship columnist offers insight.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
May 26: InnerCircles for Women Networking Lunch
May 26: SmartTalk Connected Conversations with Helen Hunt
May 26: Coffee Cluck: Follow-Up Failure = Financial Failure
June 1: Teaching Empowerment Expo
June 2: Free Lunch ‘n ‘Learn: Low Maintenance High Impact Landscape
June 4 – June 6: Summerfair

Fab-u-Shoe Friday: Shoe Clips

We had a Cincy Chic event called “Handbag Heaven” this week and one of our vendors had these cute little shoe clips. They completely transformed the look of my boring black pump! I ended up getting two pair… one for black shoes and the other for brown. I also realized, you can put the clip in your hair, on a blouse or on a handbag to spice up your look too! I got these at Buenos Aires Mercado, and they were only $15 for two!

This Week on Cincy Chic: Artistically Inclined

Artistically InclinedArtistically Inclined

Creative displays around town

They say art is in the eye of the beholder. If that’s the case, you can behold some pretty amazing talent around the Queen City with these events and exhibits ranging from Dr. Seuss to tickling the ivories. Keep reading to add some creativity to your calendar.

Model Hobby
Some men make model cars as a hobby, but this local man uses human models to make his artistic creations. Learn how his concept shots take women from the everyday to the unbelievable.

Metallic Creations
This local artist changed career paths from a seemingly opposite occupation, but he merged the two together to create a unique style. Discover how his creativity blends with his knack for science.

Fashions of a Feather Flocktail Together
One local fashion designer started making her own hair accessories because she couldn’t find exactly what she wanted. Check out these feathery fashions that’ll have everyone flocking for their own.

Dancing Poetry
From YouTube to iTunes to “American Idol,” music plays a major role in our lives. Find out how you can blend the art of music with the art of dance Downtown this summer.

Take Part in the Painting
Looking for a new way to express yourself? Take a look beyond pottery painting, grab a few girlfriends, and head over to Essex Studios for a memorable and insightful art experience.

Chic Spotlight: Artist and Teacher Pam Kravetz
From teaching one of our own to displaying her work at the Contemporary Arts Center, this local artist paints a picture of her world with her words.

Express Picks: Expand Your Experience
Express Cincinnati suggests this week’s best cultural and charity events. Sample opera, join the bacchanal, or dance while Shepard Fairey spins tunes. There’s something for everyone!

Chic This Week: Teaching More than just Art
Our Editor in Chic recalls a traumatic experience in art class and how her art teacher helped her through it while teaching an important life lesson in the process.

Total Body Wellness: The Skinny on Fats
Before you reach for that box with Low Fat written in big, bold letters, check out this advice from our resident health and fitness expert for the low down on fats in foods.

Orange on Green: Mastering the Art of Finance
The simplicity in a classic children’s book serves as an analogy for taking control of your finances, and our financial gurus give an art lesson this week to help you paint a money masterpiece.

Chic Eats: A Delicious Take on Berries and Cream
The creamsicle grows up this week with Strawberry Granita and Vanilla Bean-Black Peppercorn Chantilly. Our Chic Chef shows you a new take on the classic berries and cream dessert.

McCoy on Movies: “Letters to Juliet”

Amanda Seyfried stars in a new romantic comedy inspired by one of William Shakespeare’s most famous characters. But is the film to be or not to be? See what our movie critic says.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
May 18: Speak Fashion Speak Life!
May 18: Business at Breakfast
May 19: Work Smart, Not Hard Workshop
May 19: Handbag Heaven Win “Sex and The City 2” Screening Passes!
May 20: Afterhours – An Unusual Twist to Your Usual Bridal Show
May 20: Michael Kors Trunk Show at Madeira Optical
May 20: Minx & Models Win “Sex and The City 2” Screening Passes!
May 20: Girls Night Out in O’Bryonville
May 21: Tee Off at Tellers Win “Sex and The City 2” Screening Passes!
May 22: Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Cincy Chic Meets Clinton Kelly

Saturday was a busy day in Amyland. I had the Locals on Living Saving Summit event in the morning, then I met with Clinton Kelly for an interview, and then I taped a commercial for Bad Girl Ventures.

errrrrrrrrrr… back up… that’s right, I met with Clinton Kelly! As I promised in a blog last week, I got an in-person interview with him to talk about what he was doing here in our fine city of Cincinnati. He was in town as stop six of eight on the “Macy’s and Clinton Kelly Make Over America Tour” that’s providing makeovers to women across America.

Twelve Tri-State women were selected to receive a head-to-toe Macy’s makeover, with wardrobe styling provided by Clinton Kelly himself. Check out the video below as I talk with Clinton about this campaign. He’s so passionate about providing style advice for real women, so about mid-way though, I decided I wanted him to analyze my style to make sure I was dressing right for my body type (FYI, I’m a curvy girl and I decided to wear skinny jeans that day). You won’t want to miss what he said!


Also check out the before and after pictures of the girls who received makeovers below. Macy’s sent me before and after pictures, and I tried to match them up so you could see side-by-side comparisons. But some of the women looked so completely different, I couldn’t tell who was who! That’s a good thing though! Enjoy the pics and try to see for yourself if you can match up the befores and afters!



UPDATE: Macy’s PR person sent me an email after I posted this blog and helped me decipher who was who. Here are side-by-side comparisons of all the makeover winners! Enjoy! (Click on the photos to enlarge).