All posts by Amy Scalia

Clinton Kelly Gets “Real” with Cincy Chic

makeover americaSeriously. The “What Not to Wear” Gods are smiling down on me in 2010! Last month I got to meet Stacy London and yesterday I got to chat with Clinton Kelly on the phone (an in-person interview will follow when he comes to town on May 15 *pinching myself*).

The reason for my chat with Mr. Kelly? Well, he’s part of the “Macy’s and Clinton Kelly Make Over America Tour” that’s providing makeovers to 96 women across America  – 12 women in eight cities, including Cincinnati.

Clinton says he chose the women based on their story, but also made his selection to represent a diverse group of what he calls “real women.” The winners he selected come in all shapes, sizes, skin colors and types, hair colors and textures. He says he purposefully chose such a wide spectrum of winners because wanted viewers to be able to relate to at least one of the winners.

This tour will mark the fifth year Clinton has worked with Macy’s on a fashion show campaign across America (Click here to see pictures from his visit to Cincinnati in 2008).

When Clinton first started working with Macy’s, he worked with your typical model type (aka the skinny bitches we all hate – haha!). Then he began to incorporate plus size models into his shows. At the end of last year, he talked with Macy’s about how great it would be to feature real women on stage instead of models. They loved the idea and decided to run with it!

Clinton said Macy’s has been a great partner in executing this idea (he did admit though that it’s been a bit of a logistical nightmare to pull off, but they’re dealing with it well). They had tons of applicants and they finally narrowed it down to the 12 lucky winners in the eight selected cities (Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Albany, St. Louis, Seattle, Cincinnati, Houston and Raleigh). He and these 12 self-proclaimed style-starved Cincinnati girls will be strutting their stuff at a fashion show at Macy’s Kenwood Towne Centre on Saturday, May 15 at 2pm.

And because Cincinnati’s a big small town you’ll probably know one of the girls who will be rocking the runway. If so some out to support her, see her new look and meet Clinton Kelly! Here are the Cincinnati area Make Over America winners (and pictured in the below slideshow):
·        Tiffany Anderson from Seven Mile, OH
·        Michelle Burgio from Hamilton, OH
·        Danielle Cain from Cincinnati, OH
·        Shannon Crutchfield from Cincinnati, OH
·        Jennifer Gerike from Cincinnati, OH
·        Sarah Godfrey from Cincinnati, OH
·        Alexandra Hoog from Bethel, OH
·        Heather McDonough from Monroe, OH
·        Michelle Miller from Springfield, OH
·        Kim Poynter from Batavia, OH
·        Molly Rogers from Cincinnati, OH
·        Lisa Ross from Burlington, KY


I did a little Q&A interview with Clinton, which you can check out below. Like I said, when he comes to Cincinnati I’ll get some one on one time and I’ll catch it all on video for you. Post in the comment section below what you’d like me to ask him when I meet him on May 15! Until then, enjoy this Q&A about the Make Over America campaign he’s coming into town for!

Amy: The press release says you’re going to help these women reinvent themselves from head to toe. Tell me about that. “Reinvent” sounds like so much more than just a surface makeover.

Clinton: I made over 225 women last year. I’ve done it enough to know that it’s not just a surface makeover. These women have written me the most wonderful letters and they’ve posted on the Facebook fan page that it’s changed their lives. So, what I’m doing is giving a surface makeover, but quite frankly it does go a little deeper than that.”

Amy: I knew a few models who were involved in one of the last events you did with Macys in Cincinnati. One in particular said you were meticulous and paid attention to every last detail before the models walked out on the runway. That was really powerful to hear because I think we sometimes see a spokesperson as a talking head who isn’t very involved. Tell me about your involvement in this campaign and level of work you put into these makeovers and this tour.

Clinton: I don’t just settle for okay. I settle for fabulous. That’s my goal: To make every woman look as fabulous as she can.

When you’re working with real women, it’s very different than working with models in that models get paid to wear what you tell them to wear. So, if they don’t like it, tough. They have to wear it anyway. Real women have opinions. I tell the real women “It’s important you like what I put you in, because if you don’t have that confidence on the runway you’re not going to impress anyone.”

Half the style is the confidence in what you’re wearing. So, if you feel uncomfortable, everyone else is going to feel that. I make sure that there’s a dialog between me and the real women. I call it a co-creation because it’s not me doing all the work and it’s not them doing all the work. It’s a real back and forth. Some women say, “I can’t wear heels,” so I work around that. Or they say, “I really don’t like my legs,” so I say ok that’s fine too.

I don’t do this for my ego. Don’t get me wrong my ego isn’t completely out of the equation. But, for the most part, I do this because I enjoy showing women they can be beautiful despite what they may think.

Amy: Sounds like you’re teaching these women some pretty valuable tools to spruce up their style. Can you share some of your best secrets that my readers can easily apply?

Clinton: Unfortunately there is a definite “Mom uniform.” It’s the cross training sneakers, light wash jeans, topped with a t-shirt, topped with a hoody. I think it’s a shame because they’ll never feel pretty in those four pieces. But there are four very easy alternatives.

Non athletic sneaker, boots or flats.

Dark wash jean with a straight leg that goes straight from the hip to the ground. Boom! Much more polished. Much more elongating on the leg. It takes the same amount of time to put on a bad pair of jeans as it does a good pair.

Instead of a t-shirt, do a blouse. Women think blouses are fancy. They are not fancy, they’re just shirts made for women.

And the hoody or sweatshirt, they do nothing for your body. You need to upgrade that to a jacket. It doesn’t need to be a suit jacket. It can be a cotton jacket or a denim jacket. It creates an hourglass shape even if you don’t have one.

These are four ways every woman can do today to completely reinvent her casual style.

Check out the video below of the Make Over America 2010 preview!


Chic This Week: Mini Escapes

Mini EscapesMini Escapes

Reader-recommended getaways

Vacations are pricy and don’t exactly fit into your busy schedule. Check out this Weekend Getaway Guide for quick trips that’ll cure your travel bug without stressing your schedule or breaking the bank.

Life as a Professional Tourist
This woman has taken a permanent vacation in her hometown — and gets paid to do it. Discover how her excursions and adventures help you enjoy your visit to her vacation destination.

Red River, Red River
After playing Red Rover, Red Rover at recess all through grade school, it’s time to graduate to bigger and better things, so learn how this close getaway gives you a recess from stress.

House of Health
You’ll get more than just overnight accommodations and a warm meal at this bed and breakfast. You’ll experience and learn a lifestyle geared toward health and well being.

Break out Your Boots
It’s almost summer time, which screams country concerts, sundresses and cowboy boots. Read on to find out where you can go to find the latest boot fashions.

Retreat to Relaxation
Each spa offers a couple signature services that make them stand out from the crowd. Learn how this getaway helps you reconnect with nature in its spa treatments.

Chic Spotlight: Tiny Trip Traveler Jennifer Reed
When it comes to traveling away from the Queen City for a couple hours, this local lady has become quite the expert. Get tips from her travels and a sneak peek into her new book.

Editor in Chic: Adventure Unplugged
iPods and iMacs and iPads, oh my! Our Editor in Chic craves adventure that isn’t pumped through an iSomething device. Read on to see what she plans to do.

Total Body Wellness: Believe it or Not
One key factor separates those who are successful in the gym and those who are not. Our fitness expert reveals how you can take control of that surprising obstacle.

Orange on Green: Can You Afford to Get Away?
The trick to enjoying your weekend getaway is actually to get away from your stresses. Our new financial columnists help you avoid taking your debt on vacation with you.

McCoy on Movies: “Iron Man 2” Review
After the original proved to be a box office hit, “Iron Man 2” looks to up the ante as the unofficial kick-off to this year’s summer movie season. See whether our movie critic thinks it’s worth the hype.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
May 11: Hormone Replacement Seminar
May 11: Speak Fashion, Speak Life
May 12: Girlfriends, Glamour & GOLD
May 12: Social Media Workshop
May 12: Coffee Cluck
May 13: Free Lunch ‘n’ Learn – Discover a New You!
May 14-16: Maifest at Mainstrasse Village
May 15: Savings Summit
May 16: Arthritis Walk
May 18: Business at Breakfast
May 19: Work Smart, Not Hard Workshop
May 19: Handbag Heaven
May 20: Afterhours – An Unusual Twist to Your Usual Bridal Show
May 20: Michael Kors Trunk Show at Madeira Optical
May 20: Minx & Models
May 20: Girls Night Out in O’Bryonville
May 21: Tee Off at Tellers

27yo Breast Cancer Survivor Benefit Event Tonight!

The “Big C” never hits at a good time. But 27 years old is way, way too young.

I’m 27, so this one hits extremely close to home. Makes me realize you’re never immune, you’re never safe, from the grips of breast cancer.

Lauren Carr (who I’ve have the pleasure of meeting when shopping at Sara Benjamins) was recently diagnosed with breast cancer at the mere age of 27. Her friends, family and co-workers are holding a benefit event for her tonight. See below.

From what I understand, the treatments (and being out of work to recover) have taken a financial toll on Lauren. And money is the last thing this girl needs to worry about during her battle against cancer. Hope to see you there.

lauren benefit

Thank You, Mom

TymomP&G, the nation’s largest advertiser, is sponsoring something new: Your mom.

For the past several months, they’ve been branding themselves “P&G: Proud Sponsor of Moms.” And yesterday the company announced they’re now sponsoring 100 mother-child reunions around the country.

The marketing mecca said this “Reunion” campaign is an extension of its “Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign, which began during the Winter Olympics. During this campaign, P&G paid the expenses of 250 mothers to travel to Vancouver so they could watch their kids compete.

And they didn’t just sign over a check to gain the glory. P&G created an entire campus in Vancouver where the athletes’ moms could stay, be pampered and hang out with their Winter Olympian kids.

Not too shabby.

The athletes and their moms expressed such gratitude (and P&G said in their presentation yesterday that it also made their stock go up) that they decided to bring the reunion experience to “real people.”

To launch this new Reunion campaign, P&G flew in the people who got it all started: Winter Olympic medalists and their moms. Julie Chu (hockey), Seth Wescott (snowboard cross), J.R. Celski (speed skating) and Paralympian Caitie Sarubbi (giant slalom, super combined skiing).

I got to meet some of them in sethperson (check out the video below) Oh, and HANDSOME-HUNK-ALERT about 6min into the video (and in the pic to the left). Seth Wescott couldn’t have been cuter. He’s such a momma’s boy. And is mom was adorable too… the perfect son and mom to give a reunion to. Seth said he always wins the gold when his mom is around (no pressure P&G to keep this up, wink wink)!

I also talked with Caitie Sarubbi, a Paralympian and her mom Kathryn. Caitie was absolutely awe-inspiring. Not only is she a visually-impaired 20-year-old competing – and winning medals – on the USA Paralympic alpine team, she’s also a Harvard student. Caitie suffers from an extremely rare disease and was born without eyelids, which led to her having over 56 surgeries and left her visually impaired. She’s now studying to be a surgeon because surgeons have done so much for her throughout her life.

They were pretty amazing athletes, with incredible stories. I loved meeting the moms who you could tell were just beaming with pride. Moms are these Olympians’ unsung heroes. You know it would have broken their hearts to not be there when their kid achieved one of the highest honors an athlete can achieve in their lifetime.

And being a daughter with a mom who lives out of state and I don’t get to see much of, I can really appreciate how P&G wants to bring together moms and their kids for special occasions like this. Distance, and tight budgets, cause you to miss the little (and sometimes unfortunately big things) in life.

As an example, next time my mom will be in town and we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day, my niece’s baptism, my birthday (June 10) and my brother’s birthday (June 7) all at once. But you do what you have to do. And thanks to this campaign, getting together will be a little easier for 100 people and their moms.

You can participate in this “Reunion” campaign by nominating yourself at You might be one of the 100 people selected to get $1,000 to help pay for a reunion with your mom for a milestone event like a birth, wedding or graduation.

All you have to do is write a 100-word essay on why you’d like to be reunited with your mom. You can also can vote for the submissions you want to win. P&G will select 15 winners every month from now until Thanksgiving.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Savings Summit Sneak Peek

lol liveAs you probably know, I’m one of many bloggers here on We’re all cool, fun and informative in our own special way. But we all kind of hid behind our own computer screens and never really collaborated.

Well, a few months ago, we came up with the idea to take a break from our online blogging world and enter the real space to meet our readers in person, and inform them about things they really want to learn more about.

Of course, money is top of mind for all of us, so we decided the over-arching topic of this event should be about saving money. And from there, the idea evolved into the LOL Live: Savings Summit, a free, fun-filled, information-packed day where you can get practical tips and tricks to saving money on groceries, clothing, health and fitness.
LOL live
It’s going to be on May 15, from 10am-3pm at the Elements Event Center in Sharonville. I think they’re only letting about 300 people in, and it’s first come first served, so register today! It’s free (we’re asking for a canned good donation to the Freestore Food Bank) and it’s going to be very informative, so I hope you’ll come.

Kasmira from the What I Wore Today blog and I are working together on a seminar called “Heels and Steals.” Kasmira will be talking about how to swap, accessorize and refresh your wardrobe with little to no money (here is a link to her sneak peek blog). And I’ll be talking about how to get that look for less (hair/makeup/skincare/fashion) with various savvy shopping sites, coupon codes, and experts in town who offer quality services at cut-rate prices. The other seminars include couponing with MommySnacks, and “How to Pad Your Wallet Not Your Butt” with Dr. Huber.

Remember, if you attend our seminar, we need you to bring a scarf (oblong, pashmina-sized) for an interactive scarf workshop. Bring your favorite technique to share!

Should be a great time! Register here:

This Week on Cincy Chic: Mother May I …

mother may IMother May I …

… Work with you?

Sure, you love your mom. But could you work side-by-side with her for a living? These local ladies take that leap of love and can call their mom “co-worker.” Read on to find out what they do and how they do it.

Collective Fashion
This Mother’s Day give your mom a shopping trip to remember and pick up some fashionable finds for yourself too. Learn more about the Kenwood Towne Centre’s first Indie Collection Cincinnati.

Mother’s Day Outings and Specials
You’ve probably planned Mother’s Day brunch and dinner, but here are some fun (and frugal!) activities for in between. Plus, we found a few one-day only specials that you and Mom can both appreciate.

Giving Relaxation Satisfaction
After dealing with dirty diapers and teenage tantrums, Mom deserves a break. See which local salons and spas have mom-friendly services at kid-friendly prices.

Fashionable Reminders
Mom might need a little help in the fashion department (hello, mom jeans). A local expert shares the latest jewelry trends and Mother’s Day gifts to warm her heart and wake up her wardrobe.

Moms Like Them
In its third year, this site is up-and-coming with helpful tips, discussions and forums just for the Midwest mothers out there. Learn more about the working moms behind it all.

Health Connections with Your Kids
Whether your kids are walking, crawling or on the way, this local yoga studio has classes to fit your family. Discover how these yoga classes cater specifically to moms.

Chic Spotlight: Celebration Aid Lauri Sachs
Everyone should get the chance to celebrate, including your elderly mother and grandmother. Learn how this local company makes that possible.

Editor in Chic: From Mom to Friend
From a gurgled “ma-ma” to a casual “Mom” to a kindred “friend,” the mother-daughter relationship is ever evolving, and our Editor in Chic reflects on how she and her mom found a fond friendship.

Total Body Wellness: Before You Swallow That Pill
When it comes to vitamins, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. See how you can avoid confusion next time you make a trip down the supplement aisle.

Chic Eats: Broccoli and Gouda Quiche
Make Mom feel extra special this Mother’s Day with this cafe-style brunch. Broccoli and Beemster Gouda Quiche is the perfect way to celebrate Mom on her special day.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
May 4-May 20:  Speak Fashion Speak Life
May 5: Cheers For The Cure
May 6: 85 Broads Cincinnati Membership Preview Night
May 13: Hot Flashes, Cold Drinks
May 7-May 8: Indie Collection Cincinnati
May 11: Hormone Replacement Seminar
May 12: Girlfriends, Glamour & GOLD
May 12: Social Media Workshop
May 13: Free Lunch ‘n’ Learn – Discover a New You!

Missy & Jack Closing Sale – Everything 50% off

This is very sad news. I just found out that Missy & Jack in Deerfield Towne Center is closing its doors for good. Everything is 50% off to clear everything out.

My heart goes out to Rhonda, the sweetest woman in the world who owns the store. She poured her soul into that store. She fought like hell to keep it open through this recession. But you can only fight so long.

I hope you’ll come out and support Rhonda as she sends off her store in style.

5861 Deerfield Blvd
Mason, OH 45040-2521
(513) 770-0512

Indie Collection Cincinnati

When you think of Kenwood Towne Centre, big box stores probably come to mind. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Forever 21… etc etc.

Well, next weekend, KTC is letting the independent designers take over! I’m so excited!

Ok, here’s how it happened. About a month ago, I got an email from someone at KTC and she said she wanted to do a shopping extravaganza, but use only local designers. I was in love with the idea, so I scavenged through my little black book for local designers and emailed them all. Many of them were able to participate, so “Indie Collection Cincinnati” was born.

See below for more info about the event, but the gist is that local jewelry, handbag, accessory and clothing designers will be at Kenwood for one weekend only. These are my favorite designers ever (Degroot Handbags and FENNO Fashion are two of them that will be there.) This has never been done before. It’s your chance to get that Mother’s Day, Graduation, or I’m-so-special-I-deserve-a-gift Gift!


Dress for Success Benefit, Sale at The Pink Box

I just came across this sale and thought it looked too special not to share! In case you don’t know about Dress for Success, it’s a great place for you to donate professional clothes so less fortunate women can wear fab fashions to snag a snazzy new job and keep it! We wrote about DFS and its corresponding 4th St. Boutique here on Cincy Chic.

On May 6, The Pink Box in Hyde Park is having a 10% off sale, and they’re donating an extra 10% to DFS. Also, you can bring in handbags and accessories to donate to DFS. See below for more information! (click on it to enlarge)

If you haven’t been to The Pink Box, it’s a must-visit boutique… especially if you don’t have that Mother’s Day gift yet. It has awesome jewelry and gift items that moms would love love love. And if you get 10% off and 10% goes to charity, that means you can buy 20% more, right? That’s my kind of math! : )

This Week on Cincy Chic: Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Diving into the coupon craze

Food is a necessity, but spending gobs on your grocery bill isn’t. This week, one local couponing expert helps you understand the method behind the modern-day coupon madness so that you can save on what you need in order to buy what you want.

Baked Confections Designed to Perfection

When you see the sweets of this local cookie shop, you’ll be craving a taste of their creativity. Find out how Cookies by Design can make your next bouquet delivery a delicious surprise.

Making a Table Fashionable

One local organization brought fashion to their cookbook with some of the most recognizable places around town, and you can learn how to spruce up the table at your next dining affair.

Food that Comes to You
A couple local entrepreneurs are changing the face of food with their mobility. Discover how you can get a taste of the action while reaping some entertainment perks at your next social function.

A Taste of Hospitality
Two local women serve the region’s restaurants with a plethora of resources, but discover how these ladies also give you a chance to take a bite out of the Queen City’s culinary offerings.

Putting the Beauty in Boot camp

Two local health experts teach salon workers some healthy-living basics mixed with a little military-style discipline. Find out more about this co-worker competition.

Eye-Catching Fare

There’s a stylist for your fashions, your hair and even your food. Read on to find out why appearance is everything when it comes to what you put on your plate.

Chic Spotlight: Food Writer Polly Campbell
After 14 years of professionally critiquing restaurants, this local food writer shares her experiences. Find out how she found her fervor for food and what Tri-State meals have been her favorites.

Editor in Chic: Restaurant Row
Downtown soon will welcome five new eateries, and its visionaries are calling it “Cincinnati Restaurant Row.” Our Editor in Chic offers insight on this delicious development in her first weekly column.

Total Body Wellness: The Facts about Food
With all the talk out there about food, calories and dieting, read on to find the only thing you ever have to remember to lose or maintain your current weight.

Cents & Sensibility: A Fond Farewell over Dinner
As our financialista signs off on her final column, she also shares some tips for fitting dining out into even the most frugal of lifestyles.

McCoy on Movies: “The Back-up Plan” Movie Review
Jenny from the Block is back in theaters this week with a new romantic comedy. But is it one you should support? Find out by checking out our reviewer’s thoughts here.

Chic Poll: What Name Would You Choose?
As our financialista signs off with her final column, we prepare for our new money-focused column, and we want your help. Cast your vote for the name you love most.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
April 26: Hot Flashes, Cold Drinks
April 28: InnerCircles for Women Networking Lunch
April 29: SmartTalk Connected Conversations with Lee Woodruff
April 29: 2010 Small Business Expo
April 30-May 2: Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
April 30: Go Green Fashion Show
May 1: Swingin’ for Susan Charity Dance-a-thon