Category Archives: Cheap Chic

5 Things to do with Your Old Clothes, Other than Tossing Them

Thank you to my intern, Alexis Piascik, for writing this awesome blog post! 

As Spring finally rears its sunny head, as does the urge to get the spring cleaning over and done with, and where’s the first place to start? Your closet. But it’s hard to know what to do with all those old clothes – t-shirts with stains on them, panties with holes in them – which is where I come in. I have compiled a list of 5 things you can do with old garments that gets them out of your wardrobe but NOT into a landfill, and with all these creative outlets, there’s no reason they should.

1. Donate to H&M – In 2013 H&M launched a campaign in effort to spread sustainability throughout the fashion industry. You can take literally any of your old clothes that you don’t want anymore: stained bedsheets, lonely socks, ripped stockings, take it all! You can even get a $5 clothing voucher for every bag you drop off! Don’t believe me? Check out their video here to see how they recycle it.

Image: H&M

2. Reuse it yourself – Old clothes are perfect things to craft your heart out with. Turn t-shirts into a blanket, turn flannels into washcloths, turn denim into bags, and tank-tops into scrunchies. The possibilities are endless!

Image: Pinterest

3. Rewear it – Not being your size is one thing, but not being your style? That’s no excuse. If you don’t like it, you should have no problem taking a pair of scissors to it and turning it into something you do like. Cut out patterns and graphics and patch them onto your jeans, cut 4 inches off those pants or the sleeves off that sweater, take a blazer and stitch a scarf onto it. There’s so many things you can try in order to revamp your pieces! And hey, if you still don’t like it afterwards, throw it in a bag and haul it over to H&M.

Image: Pinterest

4. Garage Sale – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – especially in this weather. Selling your clothes at a garage sale can be totally easy, from throwing it all in a box and making people dig, to folding it on a table, to even hanging everything on a clothes rack. Just pick a day and time and advertise your garage sale on things like Craigslist,, and And then anything that doesn’t sell, gets donated!

Image: Pinterest

5. Keep them – I know it’s not the most ideal of options, but it’s always important to have at least one old shirt and a pair of jeans that you can do things like paint in, hike in, or wash your dog in. I don’t know about you, but I can’t live my whole life in an Armani pantsuit – I’ll get it dirty.

Image: The Gadget Flow

A Fab Fish Recipe!

With Spring around the corner, I wanted whip up a lighter dish that was flavorful, satisfying and filling. Inspired by the zesty taste of Frisch’s Original Tartar Sauce, I decided to enhance an old family favorite: pan seared Mahi Mahi.

We were going to see a concert with some friends and invited them over to our home before the show which was the perfect opportunity to debut the dish. This recipe is cost effective with low prep/cook time, and it fed four adults. Serve with a side of roasted rosemary potatoes and Caesar salad to complete the meal.

Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Frisch’s Original Tartar Sauce


  • 2 packs of Mahi Mahi
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 3 tbsp Parsley
  • 2/3 cup Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup Frisch’s Original Tartar Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Capers
  1. Thaw Mahi Mahi for 15-20 mins in chilly water if frozen. Mix bread crumbs, parsley, and parmesan cheese in medium size bowl. Set aside. Mix Frisch’s Original Tartar Sauce and capers. Put back in refrigerator.
  2. Break and whisk eggs in medium size bowl. Individually coat thawed fish in the eggs and toss in bread crumb mixture. Set on tin foil until ready to cook.
  3. In large pan, heat olive oil (use enough to cover entire surface of pan) on medium high. When hot, place fish in pan and cook for 3 mins. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  4. Place fish on plate and top with Frisch’s Original Tartar Sauce and capers mixture. Make sure to put it on when the Mahi Mahi is fresh off of the stove; the way the sauce melts is amazing! Top with a dash more parsley and serve with side of roasted rosemary potatoes and salad to complete the meal.

(Thanks to my intern Kelly Maglocci for putting this post together!)

Flash Sale at A Village Gift Shop Thursday Dec. 15!

CHART metalworks

You all know that I love a good sale. You also know that A Village Gift Shop in Glendale is one of my favorite places to shop. Well, tomorrow is going to be a great day because there will be a huge SALE at the store I love!!!

This is awesome because it’s right before the holidays and they have a TON of great gift and entertaining items (and they wrap for free!). Everything from dips and decor to make your holiday party super chic (and yummy)… to gifts for women, men, babies and even pets.

Alex and Ani
Gourmet Du Village dip mix

I love putting together gift baskets by combining a few different small items to personalize the gifts for each person I’m giving them to…
– For my fashionista foodie friends, I’ve given a Gourmet Du Village dip mix paired with a Mud Pie dip spreader, and an Alex and Ani bangle bracelet she can add to her arm party collection
– For my friend who walks to her downtown job from her condo in OTR, a pair of their recycled finger-less gloves, paired with a blanket scarf and boot toppers (gives you a cute look of tall sweater socks and lace at the top of your boots without the bulk of big socks
– For my mom who loves to travel, a travel jewelry wrap and a CHART metalworks necklace to remind her of home.

A Village Gift Shop at the Century House is located at 3 Village Square 45246. They’re open Monday – Wednesday 10-6 Thursday and Friday 10-7 Saturday 10-7 and Sunday 12-5.

Nine Nifty Look for Less Ideas!

A few weeks ago, I did a post about hosting a Miss Em’s Virtual Party and how fun it was to see all my different friends buying pieces, and thinking about how differently they’d style them. I had so much fun putting together those looks that I’m doing it again this week! So here are three sets of earrings/necklaces (which are brand NEW arrivals!) that you can buy on and three different ways to style them — casual, business casual, and dressy! Oh, and if you use the code CINCYCHIC at check out, you’ll get an amazing 40% discount from now until December 10th!

  1. Gold and Black Leatherette Necklace & Earring Set $22.00


2. Light Blue Teardrop Necklace Set $20.00


3. Gold Oval Long Necklace Set $22.00

Miss Em’s Look for Less: New Arrivals!

I always love doing these Look for Less blogs using Miss Em’s pieces! It always reaffirms why I love shopping with Miss Em’s so much! You can really update your wardrobe with SO many items for the price of just one or two of the designer versions!

Miss Em’s JUST got in some new pieces so I wanted to do another Look for Less post using a few of them! Enjoy (and click here to start shopping!) 🙂

Amber Flower Necklace
Miss Em’s – $24
Designer (Bozena) – $560


Turquoise Silver Wrap Bracelet
Miss Em’s – $14
Designer (Chan Luu) – $240


Silver Chunky Swirls Necklace
Miss Em’s – $24
Designer (Terapeak) – $179


Plaid Scarf
Miss Em’s – $24
Designer (Madewell) – $58


Recap: 2016 Miss Em’s Holiday Bazaar!


Cate Alston with Cupcakes 4 Cancer

For the past few weeks, I’ve been telling you about the Miss Em’s Holiday Bazaar. It was this past Saturday and Sunday…  WOW! What a great weekend! Both days of the event were packed with lots of shoppers getting ready for the holidays (despite it being 70-75 degrees out! haha!) Below are some pics of some of my favorite things I found — and maaaaaaybe might have bought for myself or as gifts!

News crew covering Cupcakes 4 Cancer

News crew covering Cupcakes 4 Cancer

Not only was the event a huge success for Miss Em’s and all the vendors involved, but the event raised $408 for Cupcakes 4 Cancer – a business created by Cate Alston who bakes cupcakes with her mom. They sell cupcakes to raise money to make backpacks filled with fun items for kids who are in the hospital with cancer. A few local news stations came to the event to cover this partnership with them this year, which was exciting! Click here to read one of the station’s stories about it!

What a successful event!

What a successful event!

If you missed this event, or if you attended and want to catch them again before the holidays, Miss Em’s will be at these upcoming events:

Friday, Saturday or Sunday this upcoming weekend at the Cincinnati Holiday Market


Saturday, December 3rd from 11am – 3pm in Milford, Ohio for a fundraiser for the Boy Scout Troop 468. Attached is flyer.

Click here to see the Miss Em’s calendar page for a full list of all of her upcoming events.




Seven Savvy Look for Less Pieces from Miss Em’s

I told you last week about how I hosted a Virtual Party with Miss Em’s and now that all of my items have arrived, I’m soooo happy! Not only because I love all the pieces I bought (and it helped donate funds to my friend’s cause) but I also saved a TON off of the designer look-alikes.

I wanted to be prepared with an example of how much I was saving when my Miss Em’s package arrived, so the hubs wouldn’t give me a hard time and I was SHOCKED to see how much I actually was saving! Just to give you an idea of how affordable (yet on-trend) her items are,  below are seven side-by-side comparisons of my favorite pieces and then the designer pieces that look super similar but are MUCH more expensive. Hey, even the husband was impressed, so I know I did well! haha!

You can buy online, host a Virtual Party like I did, or shop in person this weekend at her Holiday Bazaar Nov. 5 & 6. Click here for more info!

1. Miss Em’s Cream Opal Earrings $10.99
Ross-Simons Opal Chandelier Earrings $595


2. Miss Em’s Geometric Earrings $12.00
Lenox Geometric Dangle Earrings $334.95


3. Miss Em’s Filigree Tassel Pendant Necklace & Earring Set $18.00
Ben-Amun Y Tassel Necklace $238


4. Miss Em’s Earring/Necklace set from my virtual party $24
Oscar de la Renta Flower Necklace $690


5.Miss Em’s Earring/Necklace set from my virtual party $24
Lord & Taylor Tri-Toned Pave Statement Necklace $176


6. Miss Em’s Flower Bracelet $9.00
Chanel Vintage Caged Camellia cuff $1,885


7. Miss Em’s scarf from my virtual party $24
Lord & Taylor Plaid Blanket Scarf $129


Five (Well, Technically 15) Fab Look for Less Ideas!

Last night, I hosted a virtual party with Miss Em’s  and it was AWESOME! I decided to make it a fundraiser for my friend Lindsay who’s trying to generate enough funds to do IVF and start a family (Miss Em’s will donate 15% of your sales to a charity!). So, a ton of my friends and Lindsay’s friends joined in to shop for a cause! It was really fun AND easy! 🙂

In a few days, I’ll do a follow up blog with a video that I took last night, to show you how the party worked and also recap how much we raised for Lindsay! But seeing so many of my friends buy different items at the party last night, and knowing their personal style/how they would style them, inspired me to put together this post!

My friend Lindsay is very sporty… a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. My friend Candy is very classic and corporate… a suit or LBD everyday kind of gal. And then my friend Jessica is in between as a teacher… a business casual kind of gal. So I picked out five Miss Em’s pieces and styled them how each of my three friends would wear them to give you an idea of the versatility!

  1. The Gold Bar Cluster Necklace and Earring Set ($20) — I added the Natural Fabric & Leatherette Bracelet ($14) for the “teacher” look


2. Neon Multi-Color Necklace & Earring Set ($20)


3. Coral Seed Bead Necklace & Earring Set ($22) — I added the Natural Fabric & Leatherette Bracelet ($14) for the “teacher” look


4. Long Matte Necklace & Earring Set ($18) — I added the “Be Brave” Cuff Bracelet ($13) to the “teacher” look


5. Silver Flower Necklace & Earring Set ($22)


Check out to see these and LOTS more “look for less” pieces. Click here to contact them to set up a virtual party to earn credits to shop on her site for free (or give 15% of your sales to a charity like I did). Or, if you prefer to shop in person, Miss Em’s is having a Holiday Bazaar event Nov. 5-6 at the Anderson Senior Center.