Fab Fixer-Uppers

Last night, the eight winners of the Cincinnati Innovates contest were chosen and it got me thinking about inventions. They are the little things that make life easier … save you time … save your sanity … and even save you from a wardrobe malfunction. In this blog I will focus on the latter with a few of my favorite little inventions that save me time, money – and in some cases – lots of embarrassment.

Black Sole Mate Heeler
Black Sole Mate Heeler

SoleMates

If it looks like a woolly mammoth sneaks in at night and gnaws on all your stilettos, this one’s for you. Grass, gravel and grates wreak havoc on your heels. Enter, SoleMates, the ruined-heel-eradicator.

The SoleMates High Heeler attaches to most stiletto and kitten heels. They fit snugly and the material grips to keep them on securely without damaging the heel or compromising the aesthetics of the shoe (they come in clear and black). I have saved so much on shoe repair with these little buggers. They are $9.95 so they pay for themselves through one shoe repair or even one less pair of Payless shoes you need to buy.

They may also save you a couple bucks in chiropractor bills. SoleMates are better for your body because of their shock absorbent material and the increased surface area reduces pressure on your heel.

They aren’t available in any local retailers, so you do need to purchase them on their Web site.

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Hollywood Fashion Tape

As a 34C, I always dreaded the button-down shirt. It would pucker. Guys would stare. I would blush and hold a file folder in front of my chest for the rest of the day.

But then a friend told me about Hollywood Fashion Tape (available at Victoria’s Secret and local boutiques like Obsess in “The District” aka Old Montgomery). It’s essentially glorified double sided tape, but Hollywood Fashion Tape is perfectly cut to fit in between the buttons on a button-down shirt. It also sticks to skin very well, so I’ve used it to keep draping dresses and toppling tunics in place.

The inventors have an interesting story… lots of bumps in the road to success (like a scheduled business launch date on 9/11/01) … but they persevered. Check out their inspiring story here.

Because the inventors enjoyed such great success with the fashion tape, they’ve since expanded into a whole “Keep Your Clothes on Collection” and other things like a Sweater Savers (removes pilling), “panty alternatives” and what they call Tag Tamers.

Invisibelt
Invisibelt

Invisibelt

Unless you have a cool belt buckle you want the world to see, a belt always adds an unwanted bulge under a cute, fitted top. But you need a belt to prevent the ol’ plumber look. You could go to tailor, but that costs an arm and a leg. So, what’s a girl to do?

Get an Invisibelt, a smooth, undetectable belt with a flat clasp. Nicknamed the “No Buckle Belt” by its fans, the Invisibelt will help you look slim, finished and fabulous all day.

Stopits

Stopits

I recently purchased a Wolford body suit at La Silhouette in Madeira. It’s perfect to wear with high-waisted skirts and under suits. The shop owner told me hers has lasted for 10 years! Well, apparently she wasn’t blessed with over-active sweat glands like me.

The top is very close-fitting (which is good for offering a slim, sleek silhouette) but bad for someone who sweats.

So, before I ruined my expensive new wardrobe staple I was hoping would last a decade, I invested in some “Stopits,” disposable underarm garment protectors. I found them on a very fun and functional site called UsefulChickStuff.com.

The Stopits are slender, stick-on cotton liners you apply to your clothes for instant fashion protection. They not only save your garments from stains, but they also stop the sweat marks and reduce your dry cleaning bills!

Smudgees

This last one isn’t necessarily fashion related, but Smudgees is a tres chic invention that holds a special place in my heart because not only is it brilliant, but it was developed here locally!Smudgees

Smudgees are perfect for the busy woman with 14-hour days and little time to stop in the mirror. They help me get rid of those raccoon eyes I get from flaking mascara and smudging eye liner with a quick wipe of the wand.

They’re essentially a pre-packaged q-tip treated with eye makeup remover. So, you pull out the purse-size package, wipe off the excess liner and mascara, and you’re on your way looking more fabulous and refreshed than ever!

I’ve Died and Gone to Retail Heaven

_DSC6331The golden gates of heaven opened before my very eyes last Friday as I stepped foot inside the new Nordstrom at Kenwood Towne Centre. Perfectly primped earth angels greeted me as I entered, and they welcomed me to Nordstrom. (As if I didn’t already feel right at home!)

It was media day last Friday as they offered journalists and camera crews a sneak peak inside the nearly-ready Nordstrom store. They showed us their departments, explained their unique concepts and shared their laundry list of new couture brands being introduced to the Cincinnati market with their arrival._DSC6330

It was so nice getting this intimate view inside a store so grandiose in stature and reputation. On one hand, I wish I got this kind of in-depth understanding of every store I like to shop at. But on the other hand, it makes sense that this unique experience was conceived and provided by the path-paver in retail customer satisfaction.

>>>random fun fact for the day<<<

According to Wikipedia: Nordstrom is well-known for its customer service, so much so that several urban legends have appeared regarding the store. One of the best known legends is purported to have taken place at the Anchorage store soon after its 1975 purchase from Northern Commercial Company. A customer, unaware than the store had changed hands, returned a set of tires. Although Nordstrom had never sold tires since opening, it was _DSC6326determined not to be the fault of the customer the store had changed hands, and the return was accepted. Many Nordstrom customers will attest that Nordstrom will refund items at any time purchased from Nordstrom stores.

>>>now back to your regularly scheduled blog<<<

They said this kind of tour wouldn’t be offered to the public (I’m sure they would if you asked!), so I will share the five biggest things that stood out for me.

#1: All in a Name
I think the biggest thing (other than their superior customer service) Nordstrom brings to Cincinnati is their awe-inspiring entourage of high-end designers. They’ll have your Burberry and Michael Kors, of course, but they’ll also have Jimmy Choo, Dolce&Gabbana, Alice And _DSC6357Olivia, Donna Karan Collection and Chloé. There is also one label completely exclusive to Cincinnati, and that’s Jo Malone.

#2: Cincinnati’s New Beauty Mark
On the cosmetic side, brands will include Chanel, Nars, Dior, Bare Escentuals, L’Occitane and MD Skincare (as well as your usual department store brands like Estée Lauder). And if you’re looking to pair your pucker with with the perfect shade, you’ll find it here, as this store will offer 1,600 lipstick shades!

For all you beauty buffs out there, make sure you head to Nordstrom early (8am) for the “Beauty Bash” on Opening Day (Sept. 25). Outside of the store will be a hot spot as Nordstrom _DSC6336hosts a cosmetics and fragrance event at the first floor east mall entrance. Nordstrom beauty advisors will offer complimentary cosmetics and fragrance consultations. Beauty and Fragrance Director Julianne De’Chaump will also be available to discuss the hottest trends for fall. Nordstrom’s doors will officially open at 10am with a special “opening ceremony” deep-rooted in the company’s tradition.

#3: Shoephoric Selections
When it was founded in 1901, Nordstrom was actually a shoe store in Seattle. And the retailer has managed to stay true to its roots. The Kenwood Nordstrom will boast five — yes, five — shoe departments. Three for women, one for men and one for kids. I think we can all see who’s their favorite shopper! hehe!_DSC6350

#4: Big Heart for Little Ones
As we entered in the kids’ department something on the floor caught my eye. One of the floor tiles showcased a dinosaur that had been carefully painted by tiny hands. Then I noticed more! Apparently, in February, 150 local children gathered at the Cincinnati Zoo to paint animal-themed tiles that now adorn the floors of the entire “Kids Wear” department.

But Nordstrom’s tenderness for tots goes further that the floor. The retailer not only offers children-sized couture and reduced-height racks so kids can participate in the browsing fun, but they also host a bevvy of learning sessions free for customers, such as — my favorite — a “shoe tying” learning session. How cute is that?

#5: It’s in the Details
Coming up with this last bullet point was difficult. There were so many finite details that just made me smile. I encourage you to take the time to look around the store and just appreciate all the thought that went into making it a reality. Everything from the original artwork behind the cash registers, _DSC6361expert prosthesis fittings in lingerie, $2.50 shoe shines, on-site tailoring and the unique design concepts in each of their dressing rooms.

The theme of each department carries through to the changing rooms (watch the below Webcast for more information on that!). They even have a “girlfriend’s changing room” where up to six or seven women can change together if they’d like. How fun would that be if you’re shopping with girlfriends?

They also have a unique concept where they separate the departments by lifestyle and also type of designer. For example, they have a special department for their up-and-coming designers called “Via C.”

Everything at Nordstrom is done with class and a smile. And, as much as I love Cincinnati’s homegrown boutiques, I can honestly say that Nordstrom is making a huge effort to be community oriented and deep rooted in the Tri-State’s culture — as much as a big box retailer with 177 U.S. stores located in 28 states can be!

I’m counting down the minutes until this prestigious store officially opens! No, literally, I am. We have 11,435 minutes to go in case you were wondering.

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Red Tree Cultivates Cuteness

There’s something about this crisp air that makes me just want to curl up with a coffee, veg out and enjoy the simple things in life. Unfortunately, I have bills to pay, a business to run and other things that frown upon curling up and vegging out.

Handmade coffee cup sleeves at Red Tree Coffee Shop
Handmade coffee cup sleeves at Red Tree

I did however fit in an unexpected escape when I visited Red Tree Coffee Shop in Oakley the other day.

I went there for a meeting, and afterward I went to the counter to order a pick-me-up drink before heading out to my next meeting. The barista asks me if I’d like a large, medium or small and points to the example sizes on display. And that’s when I saw quite possibly the cutest things ever: Handmade coffee cup sleeves. They came in all different designs and they’re handmade by a local designer. I’ve never seen anything like them! At first glance, it looks like felt, but the sleeve and designs are actually hand-woven and hand-stitched! At only $9, they are well worth it when you consider all that time and effort, plus the eco friendly and cute-factor!

T-shirts at Red Tree
T-shirts at Red Tree

Wait, there’s more… I turn around and there’s an entire wall of adorable gift items. T-shirts, bags, cards, oh my! I grabbed my drink, and whisked myself away into a browsing bliss. Each item was so unique with simple, nature-inspired prints, modern cuts and soft, sustainable fabrics.

Then I discovered that there’s an amazing art gallery in the back of the coffee shop! It just kept getting better! (Their Web site’s event page has more info about their gallery exhibits)

I couldn’t stay long, but I was so pleasantly surprised to experience such an artsy oasis. I hope you find a way to treat yourself to Red Tree – a coffee shop that’s truly “branching out” … oh boy. I got carried away there.

🙂

Chic This Week: Designed to Shine

090709featureDesigned to Shine

DAAP grad stars on “Project Runway”

She went from walking the streets of Clifton to starring on the arguably most prominent fashion show in America. She has fashioned her way to the top three in one “Project Runway” challenge so far. Read on to hear how this Midwest girl holds her own in the fashion world.

Bras with Flair on the Square 2009

For the third annual event, decorated bras will fly high on Fountain Square to promote breast health. See how you can get involved with this unique and innovative way of finding a cure!

Cincinnati Stays On-Trend with Nordstrom

As you anticipate Nordstrom’s Cincinnati location, the store’s fashion director fills you in on the inspirations and must haves of the season, from the past becoming present to a royal color palette.

A Head of the Trends

You’ll never have a bad hair day again after reading what this local salon owner has to say about the “hautest” trends in hair color and style — healthy, beautiful, natural-looking hair!

Get Real with Reality Plus

Let’s get real. Women don’t fit a one-size-fits-all mold. This local designer has recognized that fact and developed a line of clothing to fit a perpetually “overlooked and misunderstood” demographic.

Spinning for a Cause

Put your exercise to good use, and go beyond just keeping yourself fit and fabulous. Find out how a local fundraiser blends Spinning, fashion and the drive to cure breast cancer.

Hounding the Fox for Fashions, Savings

Shoppers can satisfy their need for a spree with a tour dedicated to fashions and furniture at a fraction of the cost. Learn how the Snooty Fox offers savings by the busload.

Chic Spotlight: Boutique Owner Ann Bowling

Fashion runs deeper than materials and style. Shopping can be therapeutic! For this local woman and her husband, a boutique helped them see the silver lining in the face of tragedy.

Sensible Fitness: Weighing Your Self-Esteem

A woman’s weight can be a sensitive subject, but it should never determine her self-worth. Our fitness guru weighs in on how women can put mind over matter and control the scale.

Cents & Sensibility: Fiscal Fashion Tips

Keeping up with the latest trends doesn’t have to blow your budget. Try our financialista’s tips to help you stay in style without breaking the bank.

Events:

09.10.09 – “The District” Shop Hop
09.10.09 – The 3rd Annual Bitter Bridesmaid Bash
09.12.09 – Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
09.15.09 – Coffee and Conversation
09.17.09 – Chemistry for Charity: Bring a Bachelor

Something Old, New, Borrowed and … Platinum

Me and My Husband
Me and My Husband (Photo: Neysa Ruhl)

Maybe it was the mild winter, or the cool summer. Or maybe it’s just that time flies when you’re having fun. Whatever it is, it’s September already! Last year at this time, I was putting all the final touches on my wedding planning and preparing to say “I do” to my best friend. We got married on September 27 (click here to see our beautiful wedding photos!), on a sunny Indian Summer day. Time sure has flown by!

It’s been a year and I still haven’t had time to change my name legally, finish our registry or unsubscribe myself from all the bridal lists I’m on. I think I’ll eventually get to the whole name changing thing (let’s face it, Amy Storer-Scalia doesn’t have the most appealing initials), and we’ll definitely get the food processor we fell in love with but no one got us. But I don’t think I’ll get around to unsubscribing to these bridal e-mail lists! I secretly like keeping tabs on the fascinating, ever-changing bridal industry. I love the glamor and uncompromising attention to detail. Everything is polished, pristine, posh and pretty. And even though I already had my special day, a girl can dream… even if it’s just of what I’ll wear to our vow renewal ceremony!

Pin Me Up Couture
Pin Me Up Couture

I put together this list for all you chic brides-to-be, Mothers of the Bride, bridesmaids, maids of honor or anyone else out there like me who secretly loves to watch the wedding world from afar.

Something Old…

The 20s  made their way back into mainstream fashion over the past few seasons, and now with Pin Me Up Couture, they’re roaring into the wedding scene as well. This line is a sassy local duo that focuses on modern day glamor — with a twist. From classic retro birdcage veils to funky hair pieces these girls know how to make you look and feel fabulous. Pieces are available on Etsy, The Bridal Shop located on Mainstrasse in Covington and they also do custom creations.

Pin Me Up Couture
Pin Me Up Couture

Something New…

Folchi’s Formal Wear invites you to enjoy champagne and appetizers while viewing the latest in men’s wedding attire.
When: Tuesday, September 22
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Folchi’s Formal Wear
7344 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236
(513) 891-9930

Register to win five free rentals for your wedding party.

RSVP: ellen@folchisformalwear.com or (513) 231 – 9930

Bitter Bridesmaid Bash
Bitter Bridesmaid Bash

Something Borrowed…

The third annual Bitter Bridesmaid Bash is coming to Covington on Sept. 10! Wear your favorite (or least favorite) retired bridesmaid gown for a pub crawl through Covington’s MainStrasse.

Cost of admission is $10 OR the donation of a bridesmaid gown for Kenzie’s Closet (www.kenziescloset.org) All proceeds benefit Kenzie’s Closet. For more information or to see photos from 2007 and 2008’s Bashes, visit www.the-bridal-studio.com. There will be raffles and silent auctions, a photo booth, discount drink tickets and loads of fun!

For more information or to RSVP info@the-bridal-studio.com.

Something Platinum…

Couture Designer dresses, off the rack, marked down by 75%. Sounds unbelievable, right? Well, believe it or not, it’s happening. “The Platinum Event” – which happens only once a year – will be taking place on Monday, September 21st from 5-8pm. Brides need to RSVP (to European Bridal at 513.821.6505) for the event and space is limited. There will be goodie bags and door prizes for all RSVPed attendees!

Speaking of Weddings…

On Cincy Chic, we’re giving away a $25,000 wedding and a $5,000 makeover to local breast cancer survivors. Click here to learn more and see if you could be the lucky lady to get your matrimony or makeover for free!

Cheap Chic: Labor of Lovin’ Sales

“Cheap” and “Chic.” Oxymorons, right? Not here on Chic This Week! A recent reader’s comment on my blog prompted me to start a monthly “Cheap Chic” post to show you how to have a fab, but frugal, lifestyle here in the Tri-State. Just because it’s chic does NOT mean it’s expensive.

Not to go into too many details – but just so you know where I’m coming from – I am the daughter of a hard-working secretary and teacher. We didn’t have much money at all. But my parents were very smart with what little money they did make, and – regardless if it was prunes or a prom dress – my mom always did her homework before she made any purchase. Even though some of her tactics were a little over the line (making me order 12-and-under meals when I was clearly old enough to drive), I still carry many of her money-saving mantras with me today.

So, this post will be one of many future public service announcements to all you recessionistas out there. I have four fantastic Cheap Chic Labor Day sales you need to check out!

A New Attitude Beauty Studio: Beauty on a Budget

A New Attitude Beauty Studio invites you to experience their best of the best this month… Beauty on a Budget!

  • $50 off Brazilian Straightening Treatment– Fight humidity and frizz this treatment will eliminate blow drying time and lasts up to 3 months!
  • FREE Color with Haircut- Create a new look or enhance your natural locks with Goldwell color (value $65)
  • FREE Full Body Spray Tan with Teeth Whitening– Sunless tanning a safe alternative is specialized to your skin type.
  • $20 off any luxurious one hour massage
  • FREE Resurfacing with a Revitalization facial

A New Attitude Beauty Studio
Hyde Park Square
(513) 533-0109
www.anewattitudebeautystudio.com

*Cannot be combined with other offers, expires September 30, 2009. Valid Tues-Thurs only

Cincy Designer Shoes: Life is Too Short to Wear Ugly Shoes!

Cincy Designer Shoes is a one of a kind, full-service shoe salon in the heart of Hyde Park Square. Their goal is to bring unique designers to the shop, offering customers shoes and handbags not found in the malls or surrounding areas. Each shoe they carry was carefully hand-picked by their expert staff. They have one rule of thumb in selecting stock: They have to love it!

Stop in today to see the hottest fall arrivals and let their shoe consultants help you select the “perfect shoe” for any occasion!  Remember life is too short to wear ugly shoes…What are your shoes saying about you?

Mention “Cincy Chic” and receive 10% off any purchase!

Cincy Designer Shoes
2717 Erie Avenue
Hyde Park Square
Cincinnati, OH  45208
513-321-1924
www.cincyshoes.com

Bova Contemporary Furniture: Largest Sale of the Year

If you haven’t already visited Bova‘s 25,000 sq. ft. showroom, you are missing out on viewing the best selection of contemporary furniture in the Tri-State area. It is well worth the trip!

Bova carries a complete line of furniture from bedrooms to dining, living to office, entertainment units to home theater seating, as well as rugs, lighting and colorful accessories.

Bova is having their largest sale of the year this Labor Day weekend!
Friday Sept. 4 to Monday Sept. 7.

Mention “Cincy Chic” and receive a free ECO BAG.

Tuscany Spa.Salon: Amazing Labor Day Specials

Tuscany Spa.Salon is offering amazing Labor Day Specials from Monday, August 31 through Sunday, Sept. 6.

Get ready for Labor Day… Revitalize your Look… Rejuvenate your Spirit.

  • Free Jane Iredale Make-up Applications. You will love the feel and look of this mineral-based product line good for all skin types and tones. (I personally use this and it’s amazing!)
  • Receive 20% off makeup purchases
  • $20 manicure
  • $15 off  one-hour pedicures

New Client Specials:

  • $30 off – Highlights or Color with Haircut
  • $15 off Haircuts (Women & Men)

Fun side note about Tuscany: The Cincy Chic staff and I had a makeover party there in the beginning of the year and it was so much fun! We spent the whole morning there – started with muffins and mimosas – and we got hair, skin and nail treatments. It was a great time because they’re well-equipped for a large crowd. Just an FYI if you have a group of gals and you want to have a pamper party!

11355 Montgomery Road
Harper’s Station
Cincinnati, OH  45249
(513) 489-8872
www.TuscanySpaAndSalon.com

This Week on Cincy Chic: Life’s Balancing Act

Every Monday, we publish a new editorial issue of Cincy Chic. Check out what appeared in this week’s issue…

Feature Story:

Life’s Balancing Act
A goal-achieving guru’s most coveted tips

Are you spending more time at work than at home? Can’t find time to relax? Take the advice of a seasoned business owner who’s been there, done that and learned valuable lessons from it all.

She shares her secret strategies so you can achieve the balance you desire. Whether that balance lies in simplification or happiness, her tips for trailblazing toward goals will help satisfy your thirst for success.

Department Stories:

Setting a Quick Pace for Hair and Face
After hitting snooze too many times, your morning routine needs to be compressed into the amount of time it usually takes to pick out shoes! Learn quick tips for how to get board-room beautiful in no time flat.

Addressing Your Specifications
Your wardrobe should fit your style, but more importantly, it should fit you. Learn how one local lady works her magic to make that happen.

Fuel Up for Lunch
What’s for lunch? How about a blood-pumping workout with a side of extra energy? These two exercise experts offer lunchtime workouts so you can return to the office — faster, stronger and more alert.

Being Wise to Prioritize
Feel like you’re at the bottom of your own totem pole? This local speaker and author helps fit “you” into your schedule. See how you can dedicate more to others by taking care of yourself first.

Putting Social Media on Your Side
Wading through the digital world of social media can be a daunting task. Keep yourself in check and on the right track by following these tips from a local web-savvy senorita.

Chic Spotlight: Laure Quinlivan, Parent and Politician
Life can be one long tightrope as you try to balance your priorities. Learn how this local woman has found tools to keep from falling and a mentality that keeps her going.

Sensible Fitness: Putting off Procrastination
Procrastination has the power to paralyze anyone in its path who’s not prepared for its wrath. Our fitness guru shares secrets to success from his experience with a former exercise procrastinator.

Cents & Sensibility: Rebalance to Stay on Course
For most career women, retirement plans are the biggest source for post-career funds, but those plans are often neglected. Read on for tips to keep your retirement funds on track and in balance with your goals.

Kirsten’s Kitchen: It’s all in the Timing

Our Chic Chef offers helpful hints for saving your sanity in the kitchen. Learn more about her secrets to a successful (and warm) meal.

Upcoming events:

09.12.09 – Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
09.17.09 – Social Networking Lunch ‘n’ Learn
09.17.09 – Chemistry for Charity: Bring a Bachelor
09.23.09 – Dine & Drink with Destiny
09.24.09 – Black and White Event, Tuscany’s 5th Anniversary Celebration
09.24.09 – Crafty Couture
09.25.09 – Wearable Art Fashion Show
10.15.09 – Chemistry for Charity: Date Auction

What a Croc!

New espadrilles from Crocs
New espadrilles from Crocs

I was a single woman this weekend. Out on the town. And I met someone special.

Okay, let me clarify. My husband got tickets to the Daytime Emmy’s. So, while he was in L.A., I stayed in Cincinnati and got in a little extra girl time.

My friend Aymie and I went to a champagne tasting class at The Party Source’s EQ cooking school (which was really great – I highly recommend it!) then back to her loft for some sushi.

It was at her loft that I met them.

They were shy and humble, just hanging out in the corner of the room. They caught my eye but I didn’t want to stare. I couldn’t help myself. So, I leaned over and asked Aymie about them. “Pretty cute. What’s their story? Are they from around here?” I casually inquire as my heart beats faster.

YOU by Crocs™ Crema ($99)
YOU by Crocs™ Crema ($99)

Aymie proceeds to walk over and pick up these beautiful red leather espadrilles I had been eyeing for the past hour and brings them closer. She puts them on – she just happened to be wearing a perfectly matching red top – and they were even more adorable on! Then she tells me they’re super comfortable. I’m in shock, feeling light-headed and about to start convulsing until I find a pair for myself.

At this point she should have told me to sit down. But she didn’t. She continued and blindsided me with the completely unexpected! She explains that she got them from a friend of a friend who works at Crocs. Yes, these immaculate creations were CROCS!

YOU by Crocs™ Cupcake wedge sandal ($89)
YOU by Crocs™ Cupcake wedge sandal ($89)

That night, I rushed home to visit the Crocs Web site and order a pair for myself. Unfortunately, this is the closest thing I could find to the red wonders I had spent such a lovely evening with. (Not quite as cute, so I didn’t make any purchases)

Talking with Aymie later, I found out that the espadrilles were probably prototypes of something Crocs may come out with in Spring 2010. The company is apparently shifting their focus away from the traditional Croc style shoe (Thank God. Sorry if I offend any Croc wearers out there. They’re only attractive on four-year-olds). And they’re expanding into quite a delectable range of young, hip and fashionable lines.

Ocean Minded™ Hermosa ($30)
Ocean Minded™ Hermosa ($30)

The YOU by Crocs™ is my favorite line, as it features things like cork wedge heels, peep toes and snake skin print on genuine leather. They range from $89 to $99, so in terms of price, they’re right up there with Steve Madden look-a-likes. Aymie as my witness, these new Crocs compete in the style department (SM still has them beat here though) but blow any other fashion-forward shoe away in the comfort department.

Sacrifice for beauty no longer, ladies. Go hunt down some Crocs today and thank me later.

Me, Myself and I

Oooooh, my first blog on Cincinnati.com’s fabulous new LOL network. How do I start? What shall I say? And most importantly: What should I wear when writing it?

Michael Stars scoop neck little black dress from Missy and Jack
Michael Stars scoop neck little black dress from Missy and Jack

Well, let’s just get this started on the right foot here. It’s chic. Not chick, cheek or schick. I picked that name for my Web site, CincyChic.com, two and a half years ago because it simply says so many things all in one little cute and compact word.

It’s not too old, not too young, cute but not cutsie, classy but not stuffy, fashionable but not flamboyant, polished but not pompous.

But I’ve quickly learned that chic is the most mispronounced and misunderstood word in the English language. In fact, a man recently called our office – who thought it was “Cincy Chick” – and asked how much our “services” were. But I digress.

So…now that we’re clear on that… Cincy Chic. That’s what I get to do for a living! *pinching myself* I manage an online resource for women in Cincinnati. On the editorial side, we feature weekly articles about health, beauty, fashion, social and career topics and on the events side, we have ladies nights, lunch ‘n’ learns and philanthropic events.

 The statement necklace from Missy and Jack
The statement necklace from Missy and Jack

Coming up with new event ideas and unique people, products and services to write about is my main job responsibility. As you will see, I find them in the most peculiar places. Women’s restrooms are my favorite.

This week, I found a little chic for everyone: Me, myself and I. All three looks are from the Michael Stars fall collection that just arrived at one of my favorite boutiques in Deerfield Towne Center, Missy and Jack.

For the LBD-wearing, cocktail sipping Y.P. “me”: Scoop neck little black dress ($72) that can go from the 9-5 to happy hour. With the help of a blazer or vest on top or crisp button-down oxford underneath, it’s perfect for the office. Then, it’s ready for a night out with some chunky beads, cinch belt and a matching clutch.

Michael Stars brown dress
Michael Stars brown dress from Missy and Jack

For the debutant, I-drink-tea-with-my-pinky-up “myself”: The statement necklace ($45). This piece knows it’s special. It knows that it can single-handedly transform an outfit from drab to fab. You certainly couldn’t wear this with a t-shirt and jeans. It’s a special occasion piece for sure.

For the cute but comfy, simplistic but stylish “I”: The brown three quarter length sleeve dress ($79). I can see this with my camel colored kitten heels at the office, ballet flats for a casual brunch with the girls at Greenup Cafe or in cowboy boots at a Jewel concert.

Might I just add that right down the street from this boutique is where I work out (Keep it Tight Fitness). Every day I go to work out with my two trainers (Melissa and Tawnia), I always think about all the new things I’ll be able to fit into next door at Missy and Jack! haha… Man, for a Ft. Thomas KY girl, I sure do spend a lot of time in Mason!

James Free Jewelers sports cufflinks (Tokens & Icons, $165)
James Free Jewelers sports cufflinks (Tokens & Icons, $165)

I also discovered some cool gifts for people other than me, myself and I. I was at an expo event and ran across James Free Jewelers and they had the cutest cufflinks. My husband, Pete, is on the news so he’s always wearing suits and loves fun cufflinks. These are so cool because they’re made of real baseballs, golf balls and footballs!

They’re a little pricey (Tokens & Icons, $165) but worth it if you have a sports fanatic you need to buy something special for. And Pete, if you’re reading this, try to act surprised when you get the golf cufflinks for Christmas!

I also just learned that Pure Romance is expanding their brand. Instead of being in the business of making you want to tear your clothes OFF, they’re now in the business of putting clothes ON you.

"Bliss," Pure Romance's new clothing line
Pure Romance clothing

The Pure Romance rep I talked to said their new clothing line called “Bliss” just launched. The clothing catalog was hot off the presses, so I snapped a couple pics of it. She didn’t have any clothing examples in-hand yet (only available in pre-order right now). The catalog was only about 10 pages long, so it’s not a ton of stuff, but what they had was cute. Kind of had a Criss Angel-meets-Girls-Next-Door feel to them. Wait, that already happened.

Stay tuned for my next post, which will be about some tres chic new espadrilles to hit the market in 2010 from the last company in the world you’d expect to actually make something fashionable.

From the Publisher of Cincy Chic