All Made Up and Some Place to Go!

Martinis and MakeoversMy friends and I love to have spa nights. We do our own manis and pedis, and have even hosted spa parties where a consultant comes in and does facials, skin peels and makeup applications.

We look fabulous when we’re done, but we usually just sit around in our sweats drinking wine and watching Sex and the City.

That’s where the idea to have a “Martinis and Makeover” Cincy Chic ladies night came from. How fun would it be to have an event where you can grab a cocktail after work, get dolled up with your friends and paint the town for the rest of the night sporting your new look?

That’s what you can do this Wednesday as we bring some of the best and brightest experts in town to show you some of the latest and greatest trends … with a twist… we asked them to show you special holiday glam tricks and trends to look hot for the holidays!

So, come on down to the Havana Martini Club this Wednesday (Nov. 18) from 5-8pm, grab a happy hour martini and enjoy your free holiday glam makeovers from experts like Nancy at Brideface who is giving you some eye-popping advice in the video below as a sneak peek for this Wednesday’s event! Enjoy!

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Oh So Soho

Amy Maynard
Cincinnati's Couture Cutie, Amy Maynard, owner of Soho Boutique

I love it when I can get a taste of big-city life without leaving the comfort of my hometown. And every time I step into Soho Boutique in Hyde Park, I feel that way… from the off-the-beaten path boutique location and hand-painted stairs into the boutique, to the floor-to-ceiling gold encrusted mirror and daily changing floor displays. I absolutely love it.

Amy Maynard, the new owner of Soho, and I have become good friends since she purchased the boutique this summer. She is so friendly and down-to-earth, but the girl knows what she’s talking about when it comes to fashion. Especially fashion for the local lady (let’s be honest, not everything on the runway looks right at Skyline).

One of the best perks of her job is that she gets to write off her trips to Soho for “research and development.” (smart girl!) : ) She just got back from one of these trip to the Big Apple. That got my wheels turning on how my Cincy Chic readers can learn from experts like her. I came up with this concept where we can build off our popular lunch ‘n’ learn idea (where once a month we bring in one expert and invite our readers to enjoy lunch and learn about the topic for free), but this time bring in several experts from several industries to talk about trends in their specific niches.

So, on Nov. 20 from 12-1 at the Chamber of Commerce downtown (3rd floor of Carew Tower) we will have Amy from Soho Boutique talking about clothing trends, Rick Fehr from Richter & Phillips talking about jewelry and Rhonda from Missy & Jack talking about scarves and pashminas. From 1-2, there will be a trunk show where you can snag any of the items you just learned about! It’s free to attend and it includes a free boxed lunch. But we can only let the first 80 RSVPs in, so reserve your spot quickly! Send an e-mail to RSVP@cincychic.com or call (513) 721-2445 if you’re interested in attending! Hope to see you there! : )

Check out the video below where Amy from Soho gives you a sneak peek into a few of the biggest trends she’ll be talking about on Friday!

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On the (Holiday) Market

My husband and I visited the Holiday Market at the Cincinnati Convention Center today. It was our first time going to this event, so we didn’t quite know what to expect. But I am SO glad we went though! I highly recommend stopping by if you haven’t yet! (It goes from 10am-5pm tomorrow, FYI!)

I decided to do a little recap of our experience at the Holiday Market on this blog because I had so much fun with the variety of vendors there. It was dangerous though, because for every unique gift item I found for someone else, I found something I’d like to give myself for Christmas! : )

We made two purchases. One I can’t disclose because my father-in-law frequents this blog. But I can say that “MILL-CLIFF BOOKS & GRAPHICS” has some awesome authentic memorabilia for music lovers. I almost bought myself an authentic Life Magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover – it was perfectly preserved! But I somehow refrained. It was tough, I’m a huge MM fan! The second gift we did buy was from one of the many food vendors there. They had some great seasoning packets for party dips and dishes. Sorry, I know … that was kind of a boring purchase. But the dips were delightful, and I ate so many samples I felt bad not buying! haha!

The rest of our fun Holiday Market trip I’ll explain in photos…

Cutest Snowman EVER
Cutest Snowman EVER
Adorable Baby Hats! (PS: I'm going to be an aunt on Monday!)
Adorable Baby Hats! (PS: I'm going to be an aunt on Monday!)
A Fishtank Frame! How cool!
A Fishtank Frame! How cool!
My Husband, Pete, in a cool hanging lounge chair! (Complete with beverage holder!)
My Husband, Pete, in a cool hanging lounge chair! (Complete with beverage holder!)
Incredible Hand-Made Inlaid Wood Mirror
Incredible Hand-Made Inlaid Wood Mirror
Fur-Topped Socks to Add Flair to Your Boots!
Fur-Topped Socks to Add Flair to Your Boots!

To Heaven in a Handbag

DeGroot Handbags
DeGroot Handbags Fall 2009 Collection

Handbags are the ultimate accessory in my book. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry because my bag is usually loud, large and in charge.

I also don’t like to change my handbag much. I find it time consuming and annoying. And I usually forget things like my wallet or lip gloss in the rushed bag change-over. So, the whole handbag debacle has been a thorn in my side for a while.

How can I find a bag that meets my form and function needs… and happens to look fabulous with everything?

Miche Bags are a good option. Especially their hobo style because I tend to lug everything but the kitchen sink with me in my bag. But even changing the shell is too much hassle for me.

But then I met Missy DeGroot. She’s beautiful, ambitious, talented, successful – but still Cincinnati’s best kept secret. She’s a local handbag designer who started her own company (DeGroot Handbags), designs all her own lines and manages relationships with retailers such as Kitson, Fred Segal, Saks and Bloomingdales to get her bags on their shelves.

I met her about a year ago and got a white Isis Tote. I wore it every day for a year and a half (yes, I snubbed the “don’t wear white in winter” rule, and it felt good!). To work, out with friends, on weekend getaways. That bag went everywhere, through everything with me. It carried computers, doggie treats, coffee mugs, water bottles, notebooks and champagne bottles.

I consistently got compliments on it. It went with everything. It was exactly what I needed. So, when it started to fray and look a little worn out, I gave Missy a call. She said I had perfect timing because she just got in her new collection. So, naturally, I told her to bring her wares to the office and I’d do a little blog on her!

Check out the video below to see my new white grommet hobo bag, learn about all the new colors/prints/styles she’s introducing with her new collection, and virtually meet the amazing Missy DeGroot!

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This Week on Cincy Chic: Imagine, Create, Inspire

Imagine, Create, InspireImagine, Create, Inspire

Six ways to tap into your creativity

The last time you unleashed your inner artist, your mom smiled awkwardly then stored your work for “special” occasions. That masterpiece might not have seen the light of day, but a local “chief imagination officer” gives six simple steps to rediscover your inspired side and make your decorative dreams come true.

Create Your Own Wardrobe
Tailors can alter an existing creation to fit your body, but read on to learn how three local companies offer products that you can customize from the start to fit your form and style.

Motivating Your Assets

Boot camp might get your booty in shape, but it probably won’t keep your attention for the long haul. Get creative with your workout with this local studio that will keep you coming back.

The “Custom-her” is Always Right
Your ideal beauty routine should be as individualized as your face shape and expressions, and this Cincinnati company works with customers to discover that ideal routine and put it in action.

Sip, Sample, Create!
Whether you’re a connoisseur or a beginner, grab your regular cocktail crew and head to this local wine bar/winery to create and enjoy something different — sippable art!

I Saw the Sign
Ace of Base would sing the praises of this Cincinnati man and his company. His signs, banners and other products stand out from the crowd with the creative approach behind them.

Chic Spotlight: Marketing Art Director Kim Wehby
The world’s always more interesting with creative concepts. Learn how this Tri-State woman taps into her imagination to help throw that twist in the mix and how you can do the same.

Sensible Fitness:  Flair and Flavor for Dishes to Savor
Whether you excelled in art or majored in math, you can conquer your lackluster meal routine. Our fitness guru offers ways to put two and two together for a delicious equation.

Cents & Sensibility: Creative Ways to Save Money
When it comes to tight budgets, you have to tap into your creativity to keep your bank account happy. Our financialista has new tips for saving a couple dollars while saving your lifestyle.

Ask Patty: Just Friends?
Real life “When Harry Met Sally”: When is it OK to cross the line of friendship and step into something more? Our relationship expert offers some advice on the relationship possibilities with friends.

Photos:
10.28.09 – Sacksteder’s Interiors Kenwood Place Grand Opening

Upcoming Events:
11.18.09 – eWomenNetwork “Holiday Extravaganza” Event
11.18.09 – Martinis and Makeovers
11.19.09 – Chemistry for Charity: Single Scavenger Hunt
11.20.09 – Unique Boutique Lunch ‘n’ Learn
11.20.09 – Gifts Glam and Girlfriends

12 Days of Seasonably Chic – Day 1 YAY!

Today is the day! I hope to see you at the Seasonably Chic Showcase today! I can’t wait! We’ll be at the Phoenix downtown from 10a-3p for this holiday shopping extravaganza!

Here’s the run-down of the day:
10am – open the doors to the public
11:30 – first fashion show
12pm – first brunch ‘n’ learn (gift wrapping tips with Poeme)
1pm – second brunch ‘n’ learn (holiday decor tips and trends with Sacksteders Interiors)
2:30 – second fashion show

The complimentary brunch ‘n’ learn food will be provided by Taste of Belgium, which is DELICIOUS! Click here to learn more about the Seasonably Chic Showcase. Watch the video below as I take off to host Cincinnati’s first-ever Seasonably Chic Showcase!

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Seasonably Chic Prize Pack Winner Shares Her Joy!

Amy Rinner
Seasonably Chic Prize Pack Winner, Amy Rinner

With three kids at home, and a penchant for high-end clothes and handbags, Amy Rinner had to make some adjustments. That’s when she discovered a way to have her cake and eat it, too.

She waits until her favorite department stores – Dillard’s for high-end items and Macy’s for every day wear – have their end of season sales. Then, she pounces and purchases.

“I shop October for spring/summer and May for fall/winter. Last October I got a $1,200 wardrobe for $110,” explains Rinner as she points to a $500 coach bag she got for $200. “When I came home after my first smart-shopper spree, my husband looked worried, but when I told him that I spent a fraction of what I saved, he was very happy.”

Rinner says her big family forces her to do her homework, but she enjoys the challenge of getting high-end items at low-end prices. From groceries and school supplies to clothes and handbags, Rinner loves sniffing out a good deal.

“I always check coupon sites like freecoupons.com to get discounts at places I need to shop, like the grocery store, or even Victoria’s Secret!” she says.

She also found an upside to this downturned economy. “With the current economic state, I’m finding prices and sales that you wouldn’t usually find until after the holiday season.”

Rinner got the opportunity to share these secrets when she was reading Cincinnati.com’s Chic This Week blog two weeks ago. “I saw the blog, and I was intrigued with all the unique vendors you had in the giveaway and at the event!” Rinner submitted the following secret and crossed her fingers.

“My Seasonably Chic Secret … Shop Smart! When heads turn and comments fly I know that I have succeeded! The secret is to wait until your favorite department store has the ultimate sale end of season. I shop October for spring/summer – May is for fall/winter. Last October I came with a $1,200+ wardrobe for $110. It was the best shopping experience and time ever! Top names (original $200 outfit ) for $9.00 or less. When you can shop end of seaon … the best feeling ever! The best decision that I ever made for shopping … the wait is worth it! I never pay full dollar for anything … anymore. Shop smart … it’s life changing!”

When Rinner discovered she was a finalist, she and her husband told all their Facebook friends to vote. “We’ve been documenting the whole process on Facebook and our friends are so excited I won,” she says.

She plans to use the $500 Le Sucre Bakery gift certificate on her son’s upcoming birthday. He was born on Thanksgiving, affectionately calling him the “turkey baby,” so they want to make him a turkey-themed cake.

And because Rinner’s savings searches and deal digging wears her out, she plans to use her Mi Salon Spa gift certificate for a new ‘do and her Tuscany Spa Salon gift certificate for some relaxing spa services.

Rinner’s eyes lit up when she saw the ruby and design gift certificate from Paolo, A Modern Jeweler. She says she can’t wait to create her own piece of jewelry incorporating this unique gemstone. And she also can’t wait to see all the Designs by Paolo handbags in person.

After looking at the Designs by Paolo handbags Web site, and seeing celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Julianne Hough who own them, her eyes teared up. “This is overwhelming. One thing I like to splurge on is a handbag, and this bag will be such a wonderful addition to my collection.”

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12 Days of Seasonably Chic – Day 2

I can’t believe it’s almost here! The Seasonably Chic Showcase holiday shopping event will be here TOMORROW! Join us this Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10am-3pm, downtown at The Phoenix (812 Race St.).

The event will bring all the greatest boutiques and vendors in the area under one roof, will feature “Brunch ‘n’ Learns” (Poeme’s Unique Gift Giving and Wrapping Tips at noon, and Sacksteder’s Interiors Holiday Decor Tips and Trends at 1pm) and two fashion shows (11:30 am and 2:30 pm) with the latest fashions from Paris J Boutique. One canned good, which will be donated to the Freestore Foodbank, is the admission “fee” which gets attendees access to 30+vendors and a swag bag!

One of the vendors that will be there is Designs by Paolo, which are uniquely designed “Doctor Bag” styled handbags with a vintage flair. They’ve been featured in LUCKY Magazine, Southern Living, and the Mel Brooks film, THE PRODUCERS… and have been seen on the arm of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Tia Carrera and Julianne Hough… but they’re made right here in West Chester!

You can go to their warehouse and pick out your leather and fabric colors, bag style and even personalize it with a monogram. They have their classic doctorbag-inspired handbags, travel bags and even cloth clutches.

Check out the video below to learn more about Designs by Paolo, see all their beautiful handbags, and find out more about the Seasonably Chic Showcase!

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12 Days of Seasonably Chic – Day 3

Fun, fashion and freebies, oh my!

If these three things get your heart a flutter, you need to come to this Saturday’s Seasonably Chic Showcase holiday shopping event! Join us this Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10am-3pm, downtown at The Phoenix (812 Race St.).

The event will bring all the greatest boutiques and vendors in the area under one roof, will feature “Brunch ‘n’ Learns” (Poeme’s Unique Gift Giving and Wrapping Tips at noon, and Sacksteder’s Interiors Holiday Decor Tips and Trends at 1pm) and two fashion shows (11:30 am and 2:30 pm) with the latest fashions from Paris J Boutique. One canned good, which will be donated to the Freestore Foodbank, is the admission “fee” which gets attendees access to 30+vendors and a swag bag!

And those swag bags are what I’m going to feature in today’s blog! The Cincy Chic staff and I just finished stuffing the last of the bags and we can’t wait to give them to the first 100 attendees of the Seasonably Chic Showcase!

They have goodies, gift certificates and coupons from Paris J Boutique, Cincy Designer Shoes, Paolo a Modern Jeweler, Exciting Windows! by Kim Lyon, Tuscany Spa Salon, Pure Romance by Evon Smiley, JMM Photography, Elizabeth’s Closet, Best For Babies, Krombholz Jewelers, Dutchgirl Enterprises, PC Design, Best for Babies, Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market, Minx Nails, Posh Purse, Richter & Phillips and more!

One of my favorites is a handbag hanger from Posh Purse! I demonstrate how it works in the below video. Check it out for a sneak peek inside these snazzy swag bags and find out more about the Seasonably Chic Showcase! Remember, only the first 100 people to the Seasonably Chic Showcase will receive one of these swag bags, so get there early!

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We Have a Seasonably Chic Winner!

We asked you to share your secrets for staying Seasonably Chic during the holidays. Cincy Chic and Locals on Living received tons of fabulous responses, and we narrowed them down to the most terrific 10. Then, we asked for your vote. And vote you did, my fantastic friends! *drum roll, please* With an overwhelming popularity, Amy from Milford is our winner! Congrats Amy…. love the name, by the way!

Amy – Milford
My Seasonably Chic Secret … Shop Smart! When heads turn and comments fly I know that I have succeeded! The secret is to wait until your favorite department store has the ultimate sale end of season. I shop October for spring/summer – May is for fall/winter. Last October I came with a $1,200+ wardrobe for $110. It was the best shopping experience and time ever! Top names ( original $200 outfit ) for $9.00 or less. When you can shop end of seaon … the best feeling ever! The best decision that I ever made for shopping … the wait is worth it! I never pay full dollar for anything … anymore. Shop smart … it’s life changing!

Get even more secrets for becoming tres chic at the Seasonably Chic Showcase holiday shopping event! Join us this Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10am-3pm, downtown at The Phoenix (812 Race St.).

The event will bring all the greatest boutiques and vendors in the area under one roof, will feature “Brunch ‘n’ Learns” (Poeme’s Unique Gift Giving and Wrapping Tips at noon, and Sacksteder’s Interiors Holiday Decor Tips and Trends at 1pm) and two fashion shows (11:30 am and 2:30 pm) with the latest fashions from Paris J Boutique.

One canned good, which will be donated to the Freestore Foodbank, is the admission “fee” which gets attendees a swag bag valued at $100 and exclusive discounts with the following  vendors at the event: Paris J Boutique, Cincy Designer Shoes, World Class Sterling with JoAnn Roszmann, Stop Traffick Fashion, Juice Plus+ with Carroll Hall, Golf Chic Boutique,Heyman Talent Agency, Exciting Windows! by Kim Lyon, Blue Scarab Jewelry, World’s First Gender Relationship Dictionary, Miche Girl LLC, Bling!, Serket Jewelry, Tuscany Spa Salon, LavishGiving.com, Mi Salon Spa, A Woman’s Touch Plastic Surgery Center, Usborne Books and More, Pure Romance by Evon Smiley, Fierce Fans LLC, JMM Photography, Elizabeth’s Closet, Best For Babies, Stonely Unique Jewels, Krombholz Jewelers, Dutchgirl Enterprises, Astor and Black, FENNOfashion

The complimentary brunch ‘n’ learns will be catered by Taste of Belgium. No R.S.V.P. is required. The suggested place to park is the Garfield Garage located on 9th St. (cost is $2)

Brought to you by Cincy Chic, an online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati, and Locals on Living an affiliate of the Cincinnati.Com network.

From the Publisher of Cincy Chic