Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Flamingo Air Sightseeing Tours

I recently learned that Flamingo Air – which operates out of Lunken Airport and is typically a flight school – also offers Sightseeing Tours, where you get spectacular aerial views of Cincinnati’s beautiful rivers, rolling hills, and impressive skyline. So, I decided to go on one to see what they’re all about!

During the flight, their professional pilot – mine had more than 30 years experience! – also shares their knowledge of our great city, which I loved. He said a variety of people do the flights – everything from realtors taking their clients to see potential homes, families wanting to take their kids on a fun adventure, friends wanting to do a happy hour high above the city, and even couples wanting to see the skyline as the sun sets.

They have a variety of tours, times, and prices. Here are the different packages:

  • The Queen City Adventure takes you on a breathtaking tour of downtown Cincinnati. Fly over the Carew Tower, Great American Ballpark, Paul Brown Stadium and more.
  • The King and Queen Adventure combines the Queen City Adventure tour of downtown Cincinnati with a tour of Kings Island, the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest.
  • The Grand Adventure allows you to customize your own flight plan through Cincinnati’s beautiful river region. They can even do a fly-by over your house.
  • Realtors and property developers can get a birds eye view of property and projects in the area with our Business Adventure tour.
  • The Romantic Adventure offers a fun date night for two, complete with champagne and chocolates.

Tours start at $200 for Up to 4 passengers, and I DEFINITELY recommend it. It was SUCH a cool experience!

Book your tour at www.flamingoair.net or call (513)321-7465.

Review: Jane Scott at Borcherding Buick GMC

Need a fresh new ride? Then definitely give my friend Jane Scott at Borcherding Buick GMC a call! I just LOVE her and how she goes way above and beyond. Hellooo, she even picks up your car for service!! How nice is that!? She also really, really knows her stuff (been in the biz for over a decade) and explains it in a way I understand. So, if you want to chat with her or know someone who should, here’s her contact info: JScott@borcherding.com or 513-239-2022

Review: Plaine Products

Ok, I’m going to be Debbie Downer for a minute, but I promise this has a happy ending! 😉

Did you know that plastic is designed to last forever? About half of the plastic made is thrown away after only ONE use (hence the term “single use plastic”). In particular, more than 550 million shampoo bottles end up in landfills every year. And unless we make a change by 2050, scientists are saying there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.

More plastic than FISH in the ocean. That’s just crazy!

So, what to do about it? Two Cincinnati-based sisters, Lindsey and Alison Delaplaine came up with an idea: Plaine Products. (a little play on words, and part of their last name, I like it!) What they did is create a unique system using aluminum bottles that are returnable, refillable, and reusable and paired it with all natural shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Their company is the FIRST to provide an alternative to single use plastics and it’s going to be biiiiiiiiig! (imagine me saying that in an Oprah voice! 🙂

So, here’s how Plaine Products works: When the consumer buys shampoo, conditioner or body wash online it’s delivered in an aluminum bottle and comes with a pump. When a product starts running low the consumer purchases a refill, or if they sign up for a subscription refills will be delivered automatically. When the bottle is empty they will switch the pump over to the refill and continue using the product. Then they just put the empty bottle in the same package that the refill bottle came in and send it back to Plaine Products – for free! When Plaine Products receives the bottle, it will be cleaned, sterilized, refilled and sent out again.

When I heard about this I was immediately on board. First of all, they have a subscription program where they can just auto-send you new shampoo, conditioner, and body wash on whatever schedule works for you. You don’t have to do the subscription, you can just buy a la carte whenever you want. But the less I have to think about or remember when I’m at the store, the better.

Second of all, not only are these reusable containers good for the earth, but the products are good for YOU. All three products are natural, vegan, non-GMO, sulfate free, color safe, kid/baby safe, hypoallergenic, cruelty free, and biodegradable. I posted the ingredient list below for all three products so you can see what’s in each.

Ok, so good for the earth – check. Good for you – check. But do they work? YES! – check!!! My daughter has SUPER long curly hair, so a good conditioner is a must. But I’m weird about putting any kind of chemical on her (I’ve read too many Dr. Google articles during all those midnight feedings! haha!) But I couldn’t, for the life of me, find an all-natural conditioner (seriously, look around in the “crunchy” aisle at Kroger and you’ll find all kinds of shampoos and washes, but they don’t – at least mine doesn’t – carry natural conditioner).

We’ve been using these products for the past week, and I’m seriously in LOVE. My hair is super soft and bouncy. My daughter’s thick curly hair is finally brush-able (and the essential oils make it smell AMAZING – I think we all are sleeping better after smelling this in the shower every night!) Oh, and to know that the products are good for us and the earth are huge bonuses.

As for pricing, I know we got the bundle of a 16oz shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for $80 (you can get each separately for $30 each if you want). That’s about what I was paying before, but now there are all these added bonuses where I feel really really good about using these (seriously, I kind of geek every time I use them – I feel like I’m earning tons of good karma just for washing my hair! haha!)

Lindsey and Alison said they’re going to expand their line soon with more scent options and additional chemical free products like chemical free lotions and hand wash. So, I’m excited to be on-board now and see what else they add on. I definitely love the idea, and I’m loving what we have been using so far!

To learn more about Plaine Products check ‘em out at www.PlaineProducts.com! They’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you’d like to keep up with new offerings!

——

Ingredients:

Shampoo: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Saponified Oils of Coconut and Safflower Seed, Guar Gum and Irish Moss (Red Algae Extract – Carrageen). Organic Camellia, Sunflower and Ricebran Oils. Extracts of Chamomile and Quillaja Saponaria. Papaya and Pineapple Pulp Extracts. Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Green Tea, Geogard Ultra and Potassium Sorbate. Mint Arvenis Essential Oil. Essence of Rosemary, Mint and Vanilla.

Conditioner: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Emulsifiers and Glycerin, Alpha Hydroxy Acids from Sugarcane and Fruit Extracts of Bilberry and Olive. Shea and Mango Butters, Guar Gum, Irish Moss (Red Algae Extract – Carrageen), Organic Camellia, Sunflower and Jojoba Seed Oils. Papaya and Pineapple Pulp Extracts, Hydrolized Wheat and Silk Proteins, Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Green Tea, Geogard Ultra and Potassium Sorbate. Mint Arvenis Essential Oil. Essence of Rosemary, Mint and Vanilla.

Body Wash: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Saponified Oils of Coconut and Safflower Seed, Guar Gum, Organic Camellia, Sunflower and Ricebran Seed Oils. Chamomile, Sage and Quillaja Saponaria Extracts. Papaya and Pineapple Pulp Extracts. Bamboo Silk, Jojoba Beads and Silk Amino Acids. Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Green Tea, Geogard Ultra and Potassium Sorbate. Mint Arvenis Essential Oil. Essence of Rosemary, Mint and Vanilla.

Review: We Olive & Wine Bar


Late last year, we wrote a story about We Olive & Wine Bar coming to downtown Cincinnati. I love love love cooking with extra virgin olive oil, which is what they specialize in there. I also love olive oil for my skin/hair/nails, but that’s another story! Oh, and of course I love wine, too! So, I’ve been meaning to check this mecca-for-me place out for a while now.

I *finally* got the chance to last week and it was uh-maze-ing! When you walk in, it feels like you stepped into a European/Californian grotto. Their big patio for al fresco dining (and downtown people watching) is nice, too. Then they have a bunch of olive oils for you taste and learn about, and the staff is awesome about explaining everything and giving tips on how to use it.

But the best way to learn how to use it is by seeing and tasting how the oil gurus themselves cook with it. They have a delish menu with everything from light bites (artisan cheeses, olives, breads, charcuterie, hummus and other dips) to salads, paninis, flatbreads, and even gelato — all of which (yes even the gelato) use their variety of oils, vinegars, balsamics, dips and spices that you can find in-store!

Oh and the wine… the wine the wine the wine. They have a great selection of wines, and they do a fab job of pairing the wines with the different flavors of your dishes.

You can rent the place out, too. I think it’d make for a really fun and unique space for anything from a bridal shower to a corporate after hours event.

They have specials and events all the time (like a cool dinner series, live music on the patio, half-price wine days, lunch specials, etc) so make sure you sign up for their newsletter and like them on facebook to stay updated!

If you’d like to take your tastebuds on a trip to the olive fields and wine country of California (and get everything you need to do it at home too!), I definitely recommend this place!

Click here to learn more about them: http://weolive.com/cincinnati/

Review: SOZO “Miracle” Hair Product

Well, I found out why it’s called “Miracle”! Watch my review below to see how SOZO Hair by Bajon Salon‘s Miracle product gave me some seriously healthy shine, and cuts through tangles like butta. 😉 Click here to order/learn more about it: www.sozoproducts.com

Here are some of my favorite things about it:

  • MIRACLE is a Leave-In and Conditioning Treatment for youthful, ageless hair!
  • MIRACLE saves, heals and protects your hair with intense botanicals.
  • It adds moisture and protein to the cortex (inner layer of the hair), which strengthens, then seals the cuticle which protects the inner layer and hair color molecules. By sealing the cuticle the hair is more reflective which adds shine, diminishes frizz and fly away’s, mends split ends, protects from sun and heat damage, gives light control/hold and….. smells amazing!
  • Makes hair incredibly soft, silky and shiny!
  • Best value on the market today.
  •  It only costs about 15 cents per use!
  • Buy the 7oz Luxury Bottle get the 2oz Travel Bottle free, a $10.00 Value!
  • Made in America! Unconditionally Guaranteed!

Review: Baby Zala

Pre-kids, I always considered myself stylish. But then maternity clothes and nursing tops entered my wardrobe, and baby stuff galore entered my home… slowly but surely, I didn’t feel so stylish any more. 🙁

Then I found out about Baby Zala and I feel like I’m a card carrying Fashionista again! These days, I’m wearing lots of cute shawls and leggings (comfortable, and easily able to nurse) and little Sofia loves lounging on her stylish “Baby Cloud” pillow (not the same cookie-cutter Boppie every.single.other baby has!)

I love the fleur-de-lis print on her pillow, and all the colors that my shawl comes in! Plus, the fabrics are REALLY nice and everything is put together really well. Definitely worth the extra $$ and it’s actually easier to go to their site to buy instead of going to a big box baby store and sorting through all the picked over stuff.

Highly recommended! Tell all your fashionista mom friends!

Click here to visit https://www.babyzala.com.

Review: Personal Shopping by Your Stylist LLC


In February, I got a Closet Audit by Your Stylist LLC, and told you all about it (so fun and I learned so much!) During the Closet Audit, Jackie assesses your style and which key pieces you might be missing. Then, the next step, is that she provides her expertise as a Personal Shopper.

You set your budget and then she determines which stores will have the perfect additions to your wardrobe. She bases this decision mainly based on your style and budget, but what I love about it, is that because she does this for a living, she knows WHEN to shop for the best sales, selections, new arrivals, and things like that. Things that a “normal” person would never know. And because of that, you get the items that are the best fit for you, at the best price.

Which by the way, these services aren’t for the rich and famous. We actually calculated up how much she was saving the client she was there at a the store for. Her client had designer taste but a bargain budget, and just by Jackie knowing about certain sales and savings events, she was able to get lots of “looks for less” that MORE than paid for her services.

As for pricing, it’s a flat rate of $150 to get a complete a pre-shop prior to your shopping trip together. This saves a ton of time, travel …and probably your sanity. All you have to do is show up and try on!

Jackie makes it REALLY easy on you, by setting all the items you need, and even taking the time to find coordinating pieces and accessories, so you can leave with go-to outfits if you like the look!

Then, you two can shop together for her $65 an hour rate for however long you’d like. This is where she can learn more about you and your style and she can offer you tips, tricks and how to incorporate current trends into your wardrobe.

Jackie Neville, founder of Your Stylist

Now, if you don’t want to meet at the store to try on the items she pulled, or go through and shop together, another option would be to have Jackie shop for you alone, make the purchases, bring them to you, and then she takes care of returns afterwards. The rates vary with this option based on time and travel.

This seems like a FABULOUS option for people who don’t like to shop, or don’t have the time, but despirately need a wardrobe refresh; those who feel like they don’t know what to shop for or how to make it look just right; or they just want to get the most bang for their buck by having a professional shopper find their looks for less! Your Stylist with Jackie Neville can help with all that!

To learn more, visit http://www.yourstylistjackie.com, or if you have any questions, you can contact Jackie directly at 513-292-8107 or jneville.yourstylist@gmail.com.

Review: WashClub CincyDay

As a mom of a toddler and newborn (with a husband who loves working on his car and in the yard), I feel like I’m LIVING in my laundry room… constantly washing, drying, folding, sorting, putting away, repeat. I was joking with one of my mom friends a couple weeks ago about how I wish there was a laundry fairy that would visit my house and take care of it all so I could finally have my life back… and she said such a thing actually exists (WHAT?!?)

Come to find out, it’s true (well, except they don’t have fairy wings! haha!). There’s a service called Wash Club, and it’s a full service wash, dry, fold, dry cleaning and tailoring service via an easy and super convenient pick-up and delivery service which they do for individuals, schools, clubs and businesses! It’s an on-demand service based on two daily pick-up and delivery windows serving all of Cincinnati, Dayton and NKY. Typically it’s a one day turnaround, but you can get same-day turnaround if you need it!

I personally love how they’ve leveraged technology to make it all so easy. You get started by going to their awesome app or website (or you can give them an old fashioned phone call too) to place your order. You have your choice of detergents, fabric softeners, and deep fabric cleaners. Their technology provides instant communication on the status of your order, notifications on where it is in the process, and you can track the driver so you know exactly how far away they are.

It’s more than just laundry and dry cleaning though. They have tailoring, suede and leather cleaning and garment preservation for special items like wedding dresses and military uniforms.

My favorite part has to be that they not only pick up, deliver, clean and fold, but they also SEPARATE everything out by family member so I don’t have to sort it once it arrives! SO amazing! HIGHLY recommended. To learn more about it, click here!

A Beautiful Note from NYC

I just cried ugly tears. The kind that happens when something really, truly speaks to you and you realize why life led you there. I have to be honest. I came here for work. To see and talk about a Broadway show that’s coming to Cincinnati soon. I knew it was about a woman named Carole King who was a songwriter behind the scenes for a LONG time and then eventually wrote, and sang, her own album…didn’t know much more than that. Without giving anything away, tonight I saw a show about an incredible woman I related to on SO many levels. Perusing a passion for a profession instead of a traditional career path, raising a quickly growing family, the struggle to juggle it all… all while trying to fan the flame of your passion that you so dearly love and makes you feel alive when it burns bright… and having the confidence that you CAN. When Pete was sick, I wrote a lot. My mom reminded me that I did that a lot growing up too. I’ve always loved writing {especially when I need to talk to someone – but not talk to anyone}. With a newborn and toddler though, the house is never quiet enough for me to have a complete thought let alone actually write. Tonight’s show reminded me how powerful the pen can be… how it can help release, clarify and detoxify how you feel about things. So, I don’t know how I’m going to do it, or what it will be about, but I’m going to get back to writing again. I’ve been truly touched and inspired tonight. And that, my friends, is Beautiful.

Big Daddy Walker Productions – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

He’s a DJ, he’s an emcee, he’s an officiant… he’s Big Daddy Walker! I just worked with him for the first time and it was AMAZING! Read on to see how they can be a one-stop-shop contact for all your event’s entertainment needs (aka less work and more fun for you!).

Allen Walker (left) is the founder of Big Daddy Walker Productions and offers DJ and officiant services for your wedding.

Picking a DJ for your event is important. The DJ can make the difference between a fun, well-put-together celebration and a boring or disastrous one, so you don’t want to pick just any business. For a professional DJ service for your wedding, corporate event, grand opening, birthday, graduation, or anniversary celebration, go with Big Daddy Walker Productions. Owned by Allen Walker, who is also the main entertainer, Big Daddy Walker Productions is Cincinnati’s most awarded Wedding DJ company, having received the Best of Weddings honor from The Knot for seven straight years.

Big Daddy Walker Productions does more than just playing top 40 hits and providing karaoke. It provides a level of service other companies don’t.

“We coordinate with the bride and groom through the planning process,” Walker explains. “We notice the small things everyone else thinks isn’t their job. We fix issues before they become a problem. So you could say you hired a professional DJ/MC and got the reception time planner also. We make the bride and groom look great. We speak professionally and clearly during announcements.”

Big Daddy Walker Productions aims to provide an event experience that guests will remember for years, and for the right reasons. “We make sure their wedding isn’t the one their friends are talking about being boring when no one else is around.”

Before founding Big Daddy Walker Productions, Walker was Countrywide Financial’s regional business development manager. He developed 300 sales consultations to perform at a high sales level with their real estate agents.

After he fell victim to the 2008 economic collapse, he decided to go back to school and get a degree in special education from Xavier University. During that process, he was encouraged by a friend to DJ. This part-time gig eventually became a full-time job, and “before I could graduate our company had grown to enough that it made more sense to continue with the DJ company,” says Walker.

Big Daddy Walker Productions was officially founded in 2010 and their business model developed quickly.

“We designed training manuals to duplicate how we offered our services and what small things made a BIG difference in making events not just ‘good’ but great,” Walker says. “We saw a need for strong quality DJs in this market that could speak well on the microphone and play the right music at the right time and started our business model accordingly.”

Walker has strong advice for anyone looking for a DJ company: Do your homework.

“Many times brides and grooms use a family friend or hire a DJ company without truly checking them out and I would caution anyone throwing an event to never try to save money on your event by hiring cheap, part time and unprofessional DJs,” Walker says.

He advises clients to make sure a DJ company is insured and pays for their music, and explains, “The quality in the speakers matter, the quality in the mixer matter, the quality in the microphones matter and most of all the quality in the people of the organization matter,” he says. “Don’t waste $24,400 on a wedding by only paying $600 for your DJ.”

To learn more, visit http://bigdaddywalkerproductions.com and watch the exclusive webcast of Big Daddy Walker emceeing a recent Cincy Chic event below!