Category Archives: Reviews

Goldfish Swim School: Mini Classes


Not only is swimming an important life skill for your kids from a safety standpoint, but there’s a TON of emotional, developmental and physical benefits to getting babies in the water at an early age. It’s such a great bonding opportunity to spend time splashing and smiling with your little one.

That’s actually why I started bringing mine to Goldfish Swim School West Chester. They offer swim classes for kids starting as early as 4 months! Kids ages four to 35 months-old can enjoy a weekly 30 minute class in the water with mom or dad working on basic water and swim safety skills with the help of an instructor. Their pool is kept at 90 degrees to make the water inviting and comfortable for all swimmers all year round.

The classes are fun and interactive for babies and their parents. You’re holding them and guiding them through the various swim skills the entire 30 minutes. It’s actually a really good arm workout — I count it for my exercise of the day!

Mini Class activities include singing group songs, practicing tummy time, and getting little ones comfortable in the water. Babies practice their grasp reflex, move on to holding onto the wall and eventually inching their way down it. With the help of mom or dad, babies work on their pulling paddle, “Superman” glides, sea otter floats and kicks. As babies progress through the Mini Program, they work on crab walking, getting out of the pool safely by climbing up using the “fin, belly, flipper, flipper” technique and breath control.

In addition to weekly Mini Classes, Goldfish offers family swim several times a week so parents can spend time together in the water with baby practicing the water acclimation skills they learned in class.

And the facility is awesome too. There’s a viewing area for parents and siblings and a cool play area to entertain kiddos when they aren’t in the pool. And there are a ton of showers, changing rooms, and even a hair dry station that makes it fun for kids to get ready to go home.

I definitely encourage you to check out Goldfish Swim School West Chester. Both my girls LOVE it there. And I love it too — especially these Mini Classes. They have them at times that are convenient for every family’s schedule, so contact them for more info and see about enrolling your baby in a FREE TRIAL Mini Class! Hey, you can’t beat free!

Go to www.westchester.goldfishswimschool.com to learn more.

Knee Pain? Check Out itBandz

Happy New Year! As my first post of 2018, I thought I’d start with a resolution-themed tip about something that helped me a TON.

Last year, just a few months after having my second daughter, I made a resolution to get in shape again. Yes, I know, join the club, right? Well, I took it a step further and signed up for a full marathon (the Columbus Marathon) in October 2017!

Things were going great as I got ramped up. Started with walking and elliptical, eased my way into running a few minutes with some walking breaks, and then got to running several miles non-stop. But once I got into some serious mileage (15-20 miles a week), I started to have some really serious pain in my knees. I was worried that it was going to put my whole marathon on hold, so I immediately did research on what could help.

After digging through LOTS of potions and products online with mixed or dismal reviews, I found that people — especially runners — were raving about these itBandz. They looked easy to use and weren’t expensive (about $20), so I decided to try it out.

I couldn’t believe it. This little band, worn right under my patella (knee cap), took my pain from a solid 9 to a mere 2 or 3. It works by stabilizing the knee, and it’s made with a moisture-wicking, stay-in-place material so there’s no rubbing or chafing, even on the longest runs. I can honestly say it single-handedly helped me to continue my marathon training as planned!

Turns out, there’s a reason my knees were suddenly hurting, aside from more mileage. I found out this summer that I’m pregnant and hormones are loosening my ligaments in preparation for baby #3!

So, now, even after my marathon, I’ve continued to wear my itBandz because of these crazy hormones and loose tendons. Definitely helps to ease joint pain and keep me moving, which is a MUST keeping after two kiddos and preparing for one on the way! (Due April 1!)

Just thought I’d share my story because I know a lot of people are making resolutions this time of year to get back in the saddle and get active again. But that often comes with new aches and pains that can sideline us if we can’t find relief. If this is you, I definitely recommend trying out itBandz!

Visit https://www.itbandz.com to learn more!

Chic Review: Chuck Aardema’s “In My World”

Chuck and his wife, Cindy, live in Blue Ash. They and their four kids have been in Cincinnati for many years.

With his own kids, he considered part of his role was making them laugh, so he’d describe the things they’d see in ways they would know he was kidding. A squirrel in the back yard would become an elephant climbing a tree. That’s when the idea for the book hit him: “what would things look like ‘In My World’ if I could use my own imagination?” he thought…

So, he wrote the first verse of the book over 15 years ago, but never finished it. He grew up with great children’s books because his grandma actually wrote and published several. But his greatest inspiration to finish this book came when his grandson, Nolan, came along. A month after he was born, Chuck finished his “In My World” book.

When I talked with him, he said it was a fun story to write, and it actually turned out much better than he imagined! He said a family friend illustrated it to bring the images to life with amazing colors and so many things on each page that create a conversation beyond the words of the story. She even worked in a picture of Chuck’s grandson Nolan into one of the pages which is fun to find!

I know kids seem to love seeing things that are colorfully different than what they know. My daughter learned the words quickly since it’s a rhyming story, and she loved talking about everything else she saw on each page.

Chuck says one things readers shared about the story is that it’s a great reminder to see things that are different as colorful and fun. It’s ok not to be typical and to use your imagination to share a fun story see how kids react to it.

The book can be found locally in Rookwood at Joseph Beth or the Barnes & Noble in West Chester. It’s also available online on Amazon and lots of other online book retailers.

You can find out more information about the book (and the author) at: www.inmyworldchuckaardema.com.

 

Parkers Blue Ash Tavern

At Parkers, they have all the satisfying stuff like finest prime rib, steaks, burgers and craft beers plus the light and healthy with amazing salads, spectacular seafood and even a wine list honored with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

But what I love about it here is that they offer as much variety of dishes as they do dining experiences. Stay cool in the summer dining on the newly remodeled Tap Room patio and warm in the winter as you cozy up to one of their wood burning fireplaces. It’s the best place to meet friends for a drink, conduct business, grab a meal to go, kindle romance or celebrate special moments.

They have a newly remodeled main dining room and also private dining rooms – seating 12 to 60 or cocktail up to 100 – so your event can have the perfect setting for things like rehearsal dinners, anniversary parties and business functions.

They host live music regularly, have a Crab Leg night every Friday and then on Sunday they have their famous brunch that people drive from all over to enjoy!

If you haven’t been, or haven’t been lately, come check it out for yourself! Like them on Facebook to stay updated and learn more about them at http://parkersblueash.com/.

Big Daddy Walker Productions – New, More Affordable, Packages for Small Weddings

We’ve been using Big Daddy Walker Productions for our DJ services for all our events this year and I’ve been LOVING them! They’re always on-time, always prepared, and always keep the energy up with our crowds!

We’ve had nightmares before with other DJ services… mic feedback so bad people left, batteries dying mid-presentation with NO backup batteries, speakers dying with no back-up, you name it! So, I of course was nervous about going with someone new this year, but they’ve honestly been AMAZING! Haven’t had one issue all year, and that’s saying a LOT with how complicated our events can be! For example, our most recent event, at the Cincinnati Art Museum, last year attendees said they couldn’t hear me emceeing because of all the echoes in the big marble room we were in. The DJ with BDWP came in this year and tweaked for hours prior to the event to make sure the levels were just right to avoid echos. We didn’t have ANY complaints this year about not being able to hear — I’m SO thankful!

At the event on Friday, I got to talking with the DJ about what’s new with biz and he said that they’re now offering a new, more affordable, package for smaller weddings who just need the basics. I know a lot of my millennial friends (geesh that makes me sound old) are having very intimate weddings now, and are more budget conscious than ever, so I know this is right up their alley! I figured I’d do a blog about it in case any one else out there is planning a small event or wedding where this would be a good fit for them! Here are more details about the package:

For smaller weddings/events of 100 guests or less. $695 BASIC MUSIC SERVICE:

  • DJ only
  • Pre-event telephone communication
  • 4 Hours of Music
  • Top Quality DJ equipment
  • 5 Special Dances
  • Online forms filled out by client
  • Phone consultation
  • Online planning tools for clients use

To learn more, or to contact them, visit http://bigdaddywalkerproductions.com

Cincy Chic’s “Cocktails & Couture” event at the Cincinnati Art Museum

A post shared by Amy Scalia (@amy_scalia) on

Connect Cincinnati’s “Lunch Club”

Designed by Cincinnati Bell, the Connect Cincinnati app is the first city-wide, free mobile app that connects consumers, businesses and the community. It has TONS of information about things to do, discounts on food/drinks/events and activities all over town, plus it even tells you where all the fioptic free wifi is across the city!
I’m loving all the discounts on the app. They have several different categories for you to find what you’re looking for faster, like dining, shopping, sports, family fun, salon & spa… things like that. But I just noticed this “lunch club” category and I’m loving it because it has a ton of places on there I love going – like Prime, Taste of Belgium, and The Anchor – and LOTS places I’ve been wanting to check out too!
After a delicious lunch at Prime today where I got $5 off, I hopped over to Sweet Petit in OTR and got a free dessert when I bought two! All you have to do is show them coupon on your app and your discount is applied! Easy peasy! Definitely recommend it!
You can download the Connect Cincinnati app for free in Google Play or the Apple App Store.

My Cincinnati Bell App from Cincinnati Bell

Between being a busy mom of a two, running a business and planning all our events, I’m on the go constantly. I’m actually rarely in front of a computer any more — I mainly just work from my phone. I love all my different apps and notifications. So that’s why the new My Cincinnati Bell app is awesome. It gives you access to your most important account and services information. You can access and manage your Cincinnati Bell phone, Internet, and Fioptics TV accounts with your Apple or Android smartphone.

You can pay your bill in a super quick three steps. You can view billing and payment history, check your current services and available services for your address, and even setup and manage Autopay through the app. You can also setup customized notifications for billing, payments and special offers including upcoming promotions and events. There’s also a great Help Center on the app that helps you find quick answers to your billing, payment and service questions. You can view frequently asked questions and even troubleshoot basic service issues in real time. There’s also an interactive map so you can see the Cincinnati Stores and Payment Centers closest to your location.

It’s really helpful for someone on the go who lives on their phone like me! It’s a free download on Google Play or the Apple App Store if you’d like to learn more or check it out for yourself!

 

NYR Organic Now MADE SAFE Certified

I told you about my friend Gina Johnson who introduced me to NYR Organic a few months ago, and I’ve been loving their products (their foaming bath and body oil are so dreamy!) I’ve been looking into possibly switching over some of my lotions and cosmetics to NYR, but I was confused when I started comparing. Some of my lotions say they’re “all natural” or even “organic” … what’s that mean? Which is better? I just want to know that what I’m putting on myself and my family is safe.

That’s why I love that NYR Organic just recently stepped it up a notch and got a third party involved to verify the safety and purity of some of their products. Currently, five of the NYR Organic products are now “Made Safe” certified with more products undergoing the certification process as we speak. I know that definitely helped me when I was comparing to know that a third party was fact checking the ingredients and putting their “Made Safe” stamp on things!

If you haven’t checked out NYR Organic, definitely go online and learn more about them and look through their online store. They’ve been leading the way in organic since 1981… before organic was even “cool”! ?? It’s actually the #1 selling skincare in the UK and Japan! Like I mentioned, I love their foaming bath and body oil, and I’m about to start trying out their baby line because it’s winning all kinds of awards! I’ll check back in with you in a couple months to let you know how it is! In the meantime, feel free to call or email (her contact info is at the top of this page) my friend Gina if you have any questions or want to try anything out!

 

Review: Cincinnati Bell’s Connect Cincinnati Fioptic Free Wifi

Designed by Cincinnati Bell, the Connect Cincinnati app is the first city-wide, free mobile app that connects consumers, businesses and the community. It has has TONS of information about things to do, discounts on fun stuff all over town, PLUS it has a amazing additional feature: it tells you where all the fioptic free wifi is all over town!

And these hotspots are in the most popular and vibrant locations of the Greater Cincinnati area like Fountain Square, Riverbend, Washington Park, US Bank Arena, Findlay Market, and Newport Aquarium- just to name a few.

This app and its hotspots are a dream come true. Whether you need to hop on to do some work between meetings, share some video at a concert, or look up recipes at Findlay Market, you’ll have the speed of the incredibly fast fioptics internet at your fingertips.

Download the free app now to check it out for yourself and learn more about it at cincinnatibell.com

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