Big Sale on High-End Handbags!

I got an email from one of my favorite local handbag designers, Missy DeGroot. Not that there are a ton of local handbag designers… but she is my favorite! haha!

She said she’s having a big sale on her handbags through the end of the day today* on! So, if you’re in the market for a new bag, I suggest you check out the sale.

I’m a die-hard DeGroot bag fan. I purchased my first one two years ago. I used it every day for an entire year and I finally needed a new one. I bought my second one and I’m going on MORE than year, literally using it every single day. They really are great bags. Here’s a picture of me with my more than a year-old bag. And it still looks the same… and it’s white.

Now, that’s saying something. Actually, it says two things: 1) I don’t care about carrying a white bag in winter, fall, spring and summer… and 2) that DeGroot Handbags are the best bags EVER!

This is me (left) wearing a white bag in winter. Because I'm a rebel like that. 🙂

*UPDATE: After I posted this blog, I sent it to Missy. She sent me the below email indicating the sale has been extended due to this blog (see below)! WOOHOO!

Hey Amy, I just sent the link to your article to the president of and he LOVED it and therefore is extending the sale into
the weekend!!! 🙂 Thanks a ton!!!!

This Week on Cincy Chic: Home Sweet, Cheap Home

Home Sweet, Cheap Home

Eliminating your utility billsEliminating your utility bills

Wouldn’t it be great to make your utility bills disappear? One local developer is making this possible, and the Building Cincinnati blogger looks into the “net-zero” energy concept. Keep reading as he tells more about these bill-busting abodes that are good for your wallet and the world.

Banking on Breast Cancer
A “Big C” survivor turns her struggle into a powerful mission to boost her mortgage loan business and support the nationwide philanthropy she founded.

Hobnobbing for Housing Market Professionals
“Second Thursday” networking events organized by several local ladies are boosting business for the Tri-State’s recession-reeling real estate industry.

New Technology Attracts New Business in Tough Market
HUFF launches new IT advancements to gain a leg up in today’s rough real estate market. Check out the tools their agents have to help their clients find what they need.

Five Fabulous and Frugal Design Tips
A local interior designer with a focus on frugality shares her secrets to boosting the value and visual va-va-voom of your home without a big investment.

High Impact, Low Maintenance Landscaping
Is your landscape lacking luster but you don’t have the time to make it shine? Read on as an expert explains how to spruce (pun intended) it up and make it snappy.

Chic Spotlight: Top Real Estate Agent Diane Tafuri
She’s been Cincinnati’s top real estate agent seven of the past 11 years. She shares her secrets to success, as well as how she’s thriving in the tough housing market.

Total Body Wellness: Problems with Traditional Cardio
Caution:  The popular cardio workout you’re currently practicing could be the culprit behind those extra, unwanted pounds your body is hanging onto.

Orange on Green:  Will Real Estate Ever Come Back?
An industry professional in debt and investment management provides his thoughts regarding current real estate and what he believes the future holds.

McCoy on Movies: “Despicable Me” Movie Review
Toy Story 3 may be the animated king of the box office this summer, but what about the film with little yellow minions aplenty? Check out our reviewer’s take of “Despicable Me” here!

Chic Eats: Conch Fritters with Spiced Key Lime Honey
If you won’t be getting your kicks on vacation this summer, you still can bring a little of the beach home with you with this week’s recipe brought to you be our Chic Chef.

Express Picks: Escape from the Ordinary
Explore the unexpected, the unbelievable and the, well, wacky right in your own backyard. This is the week for trying something extraordinary.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:

July 14 – Work Smart, Not Hard! Workshop
July 14 –
Coffee Cluck
July 16-18 –
Cincinnati Boutique Sale
July 20 –
Business at Breakfast
July 21 –
Bubbles and Baubles
July 22 –
Free Lunch ‘n’ Learn: Discover Real Summer Glow
July 22 –
Wine, Women and Wowing Fashion
July 23 –
A Chic Swimsuit Fashion Show

Local Summer Sales

I just learned about lots of local sales coming up soon! Get the low down on all the deal deets: 

Cincy Designer Shoes

Flip Flop Sale

Get chic summer flip flops for as low as $29. This sale last until their inventory is out. Brand names like Yellow Box, Ziggy and Flex.

2717 Erie Ave – 513-321-1924 –
The Wardrobe Cincinnati

The Wardrobe Cincinnati

Early Bird Event

On Monday, July 12, the entire stock of Spring and Summer merchandise will be 50-70% OFF!

HOWEVER…on this Saturday, July 10 for you and your friends and family, get an additional 20% OFF from 9am-11am, an additional 15% OFF from 11am-1pm, and an additional 10% OFF from 1pm-6pm

The boutique owner Lesley Hern says this is the biggest sale of the season. You don’t want to miss it!

6904 Miami Ave – 513-271-4800 –

MiCA 12/v

7th Anniversary Sale

To celebrate their 7th birthday, they are giving a gift to you! It starts today (Friday) and you get 20-50% off everything except consignment items by their local artist. Now is the time to get that rug or leather purse you have been thinking about! PS, while you’re down in OTR, check out our office at 13th & Clay! : )

July 9th-18th

1201 Vine Street – 513-421-3500 –

sbsSara Benjamin’s

Preferred Customer “Early Bird” Sale

Stop by early for the best selection (and an additional 20% off!) Saturday, July 10th 8am-6pm

6810 Wooster Pike Cincinnati, Ohio 45227  513-272-2280

Elizabeth’s Closet

Summer Shopping Online Only

Save 25% right from your computer! This sale is online only on Sunday, July 11. Click your way to savings!

934 Hatch Street – 513-646-5025 –

Obsess Boutique

Beat the Heat and Save!

French Connection is one of the top women’s fashion brands, and obsess boutique has a great stock of their best designs. (I think the owner’s daughter works at French Connection). Plus, you get a savings of 15% off of the regular price!

All designer denim is on sale at 15% off also!  Obsess carries Citizens of Humanity, Fidelity, Joe’s, James Jeans, and Anoname.  You can’t beat the fit and style of these brands!

Hurry, because this sale ends July 14 (which is Bastille Day… aka the “French Connection”! oh, I crack myself up).

9393 Montgomery Road – 513-793-4777 –


Anniversary Sale

The largest sale event of the year at Nordstrom starts next Friday, July 16.  New fall clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and children will be on sale for two weeks and then marked to regular price on August 2.  Shop from brands such as Guess, Sam Edelman, Stuart Weitzman, Steve Madden, UGG Australia, Nike, DKNY, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Lafayette 148 New York, Elie Tahari, Kenneth Cole, Kooba, BOSS Orange, Lacoste, True Religion and more.

Nordstrom at Kenwood Towne Centre – 513-841-0702 –

Cincinnati Boutique Sale

All the greatest boutiques will be under one roof, for three amazing days. Well, technically four if you count the sneak peek night. Make sure to stop by, you have so much to choose from!

July 16 10-7
July 17 10-6
July 18 11-4

Sycamore Plaza (Across Montgomery Rd from Kenwood Towne Center) –

Sneak Peek Event: The Lindner Center Patron’s Night
July 15th, Thurs: 6PM-9PM

Join the Linder Center of Hope for a preview evening event! Enjoy an evening of fun, fashion and a great fundraiser! Each boutique will preview the designer looks and accessories that the Cincinnati Boutique Sale has brought at incredible discounts! $25 admission for this special night with wine and light hors d’oeuvres served.

Rookwood to Soon Welcome One Hot Mama

My favorite items from

I’m not a mom, but I have lots of friends and family members with buns in the oven or little rugrats running around. And I just got word that I’ll have a new place to shop for them very soon.

The boutique, which will feature clothing and accessories for moms and moms-to-be, will be located in Rookwood Commons with the adorable name “Hot Mama.”

This will be the first Hot Mama store to open in Ohio, the 17th nationwide, with stores in six other states: Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

Founded in Edina, Minnesota by Megan and Michael Tamte in 2004, Hot Mama and its internet site,, have been noted in magazines such as InStyle, Real Simple, Self and Pregnancy & Newborn.

Megan and Michael wanted to create an upscale boutique that serves as a fashion resource for moms by offering designer clothing and denim that fits a mom’s age and lifestyle.  Megan and her team of buyers search the globe for clothing, jewelry and accessories that make women look and feel beautiful.

“We are excited to open our first Ohio store at Rookwood Commons in Cincinnati,” Megan Tamte says. “Hot Mama fits nicely with the center’s other retailers, including Anthropologie, DSW and Whole Foods.”

Hot Mama will take 2,900 square feet next to Banana Republic.

UPDATE: Forever 21 just announced they’re releasing a maternity line now too.

Cincinnati Hair Stylist Heads to Paris Fashion Week

Vivian Moore
Vivian Moore with Nick Arrojo from TLC's "What Not To Wear"

As Paris prepares for Fashion Week today, so does Vivian Moore, the Managing VP of Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa. She hopped the pond to show off her skills for the Giorgio Armani Privé Couture Show July 7 at Place Vendôme in Paris.

This is the most anticipated show in Paris, with celebrities and the most important style editors from throughout the world packing the audience.

“In the fashion world, this is our Oscar moment,” said Moore, who has worked at Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa for 25 years. “I’ve worked some pretty big fashion shows, but nothing is bigger or better than Mr. Armani’s Couture Show in Paris.”

The Armani show will be a whirlwind for Moore. She arrived in Paris on July 3 had just a few days to learn and perfect the styles so that she can quickly prepare the models between wardrobe changes.

L to R, Vivian Moore, Oribe, Tom Gallagher

She’s experienced some unexpected challenges since she arrived. She said Mr. Armani doesn’t allow converters or dual-voltage equipment, so she had to search for the best hair dryers, curling irons, and other tools that conform to Paris’ electrical standards once she got there.

“On top of that,” added Moore, “my passport expired the day I got the call to do the show. I [rushed] like mad to get a new one.”

But the show must go on, and it certainly is today. Let’s cheer on our Cincinnati-proud stylist as her hair designs work the runway today!

This Week on Cincy Chic: Organized as ONE

nullOrganized as ONE

Recognizing Cincinnati non-profits
Lending a hand makes a difference, but what about lending a hand to those who are lending their own hands? That’s exactly what one local organization does by helping other non-profit organizations and recognizing the stand-outs. Discover the multiple layers involved in this do-gooder group.

Eco- and Pet-Friendly Carpet Cleaning

Our Editor in Chic shares her experience with a new carpet cleaning business, Cincinnati Maintenance, who says they’re safe for people, pets and the planet. See how these fiber refreshers fare.

High (Beauty) Society

One local diva shares her beauty secrets with fellow society members. Learn how you can join in to help yourself, your planet and even women in third-world countries.

Couponing for Charity

Getting a multitude of good deals and supporting a charitable cause? It might seem too good to be true, but one local web site makes both a reality. Read on to learn how!

The Tease in Cin City

A ladies only workshop is bringing sexy to Cincinnati while also promoting fitness and self confidence. Read on to learn more about Cin City Burlesque.

Style Swapping

Enter this group, and you might walk out with a whole new wardrobe. Read how one local fashionista transforms her dresses into rings and her shirts into skirts.

Focus on Giving, Benefit from Results

In today’s world, everything’s about who you know, but one local networking group takes a unique spin to get results. Learn how you can get in on the action.

Chic Spotlight: Media Latina’s Frances Grimes

From on the river to Fountain Square, this Latin group knows how to throw a party. Learn more about a possible world-record-breaking fiesta coming up.

Orange on Green: Women of Orange

Learn how 13 women of various backgrounds have banded together in pursuit of one common goal – advocating for Cincinnati women and their money.

Total Body Wellness: The Secret Behind Dynamic Function Training

If you’re going to the gym and working the same muscles every time, read on to find the ways in which you might actually be doing more damage to your body than good.

Express Picks: Storytelling from Classic to Folk to Chick-Lit

Whether you prefer opera in the air conditioning, folk ballads on a riverboat or bluegrass tales in the out of doors, storytelling is the theme for what’s happening in the Queen City this first full week of July.

McCoy on Movies: The Last Airbender Movie Review

It’s a world full of  wonder helmed by a director who was once Hollywood’s next big thing – until he made “The Happening”. Check out our reviewer’s take on M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender”!

Ask Patty: Living with a Lazy Lover

Feel like you’re the only one pulling your weight around the house? Our relationship columnist weighs in on how small changes in the way you ask your partner for help can make a world of a difference.

6.25.10 – Red, Pink and Blue

Upcoming Events

eWomenNetwork “Accelerated Networking” Event
Work Smart Not Hard
Cincinnati Boutique Sale

Bella Donna Closing, Big Close-out Sale

One of Cincinnati’s longest-standing boutiques announced just a few hours ago that it will close its doors for good in a few short days.

Bella Donna in Glendale posted an event on Facebook today entitled “BELLA DONNA CLOSING SALE” with the event time being June 30-31 and the following message:

After 11 years in business, it is time to close our doors. It has been a wonderful ride – meeting great women – enjoying the conversations… But the current business climate has made things difficult and it is time to move on. Please come in for some wonderful deals on beautiful clothes.

So if you’re looking for a deal, need a new dress (especially mother of the bride dress, as that’s their specialty), or just want to say farewell to the shop’s darling owner, Donna I suggest you do so quickly.

Sounds like she has things priced to move. Literally. And what she doesn’t sell, I’m sure she’ll have at the Cincinnati Boutique Sale which is coming up July 16-18.

Behind the Scenes of Proactiv Commercial

Today was Day 2 of the Proactiv Commercial shoot I’m doing in LA this week. Yesterday was wardrobe styling with the fantabulous Julie, who I blogged about here. Today was the big shoot day with the celeb!

The celeb shall remain nameless due to … well, I don’t know what exactly, but they asked me to keep that hush hush. But they said I can blog about the behind the scenes experience of the shoot all day long, so I will! : )

I woke up super early and was taken to the old Desilu Studios set where “I Love Lucy” was taped.I grabbed coffee and hopped in the makeup chair. The artist was actually  a former flight attendant who was very familiar with Cincinnati from all her Delta travels. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to talk to her for long. She just prepped my skin with Makeup Forever HD primer and foundation.

She said they have to be very aware that many people have HD TVs now, and said it’s really altering how makeup artists go about their work, and the industry as a whole. She said regular makeup tends to cake and settle, but HD gives you more of a light, china doll look and never looks cakey.

I then went to a different makeup artist. She was my artist for the shoot I did two years ago. I got to talking with her about all the products she was using and I asked which product she couldn’t live without. She said “Well, for me personally, it’s under-eye concealer because I’m a mom and never sleep. But for normal people who do sleep, I’d say my Kate pencil is the one thing I wouldn’t do without.”

Hmmm… I’ve heard of undereye concealer. But whats a Kate Pencil? She said it was a superfine eye-liner pencil you could use just about anywhere. You can use it to draw in individual hairs in your eyebrows for shaping, dot your lashes and blend for a smoky look, or do a super fine line inside your lashline for a natural but wide-eyed look.

Hair was pretty simple. Just did a good hair straightening routine, hair spray and then she used a baby wipe (iiiinteresting) to keep down the fly-aways. Then off to wardrobe. Yesterday Julie picked out four outfits. Two blue dresses and two purple tops with my jeans. I prayed all night to the fashion gods to let them pick one of the blue dresses and they did. They picked my favorite: A robin egg colored halter dress with black floral print ($168, Anthropologie) and a matching blue wrap-around shaw ($88, Anthropologie) to conceal the “girls” in the halter. : )

After I finished up there, I met the other testimonials in my group. The production assistants told us that we represented the “Adult Acne” group they were filming today. We quickly changed that name to “The A Team” … sounded much better! Diana is a nursing assistant with curly, red hair and a great big smile from Toledo, Washica is a beautiful southern belle PR-firm owner, and the other is Kizzy a cute and bubbly former CNN reporter. Wow, what a group!

We headed over to the set that was decorated like a feminine great room. A big wrap-around couch and coffee table, and a lush shag rug. We sat there with a body double for the celeb. She was there wearing a similar outfit to what the celeb was going to be wearing, and had the same skin tone and hair color as the celeb. After about 30 minutes of getting the lighting and cameras set up, out came the celeb.

She was super nice, sweet, and down to earth. Oh, and she was wearing the most fabulous shoes I’ve ever laid eyes on. I did a little digging once I got home and much to my chagrin, they’re $314 L.A.M.B. Signature Collection Nude/Silver Sequin shoes that are out of stock on every single shoe shopping site under the sun. Boo. (Not that I’d be able to shell out $314 for one pair of pumps if they were even in stock! haha!)

We taped for about an hour. We just talked about the product and how much it’s helped us get back our clear skin as adults dealing with acne. It was so awesome to talk with other professional “grown women” (as Washica called us) who dealt with the same thing I did. It was something I thought only teenagers dealt with, so it was so nice meeting these powerful, beautiful and successful women – and knowing they had the same secret weapon for skincare as I did.

I really wish I could talk more about the celeb, and I apologize that I can’t right now. But it was an amazing experience. Check out pics below of the whole process from this morning!


Interview with Proactiv Shoot Wardrobe Stylist

I landed safely in LA yesterday and they shuffled me over to the studio lot. Apparently we’re filming on the same set as “I Love Lucy!”

First thing on the agenda: wardrobe fitting. The stylist, Julie Rae Engelsman, had emailed us testimonials asking about our personalities, where we like to shop and colors we like to wear.

They wanted us to bring our own clothes for the shoot, but she said she’d be doing shopping for us to get supplemental wardrobe if she didn’t like what we brought. She said not to bring anything solid black or white, patterned or ribbed and that literally canceled out 99.9% of my closet.

I tried to bring as much as I could, but I opened up my suitcase and she just shook her head and went to the racks. I wasn’t upset because whatever I wear of theirs on set, I get to keep!

First thing I tried on was a robin egg blue halter dress with a black floral print and a cute matching wrap-around shawl from Anthropologie. I was in love. Then Julie had me try on a blue Calvin Klein crinkle-ruffle wrap dress. Adored. Then they had me wear two purple tops with my own jeans. Didn’t love them as much, but they don’t look bad.I really hope they want me to wear one of the blue dresses!

I got to talking with Julie and she was FASCINATING! I asked if I could get a video interview with her for the blog and she shyly declined. I wanted to get a picture of us, but I didn’t want to press my luck. She said it was ok to do a verbal interview though.

So, I asked her how she liked wardrobe styling for the Proactiv shoots (she was on set with my last shoot two years ago). She said she loves it, but that she sees it more as character styling. She doesn’t shop for the trends, she shops for the character of *who* each person is, what they like, don’t like, shop, do, etc. This helps them be more comfortable on set, and more believable on screen.

She said she wasn’t a “label whore” and was disillusioned with all the celebs getting into the fashion scene. She said “if it looks good and it fits their character and personality, then they need to wear it. On screen and in real life.”

I thought that was fascinating. Here I wanted to talk with her about trends and color forecasting, and she couldn’t have cared less about all that. She took me around the room and showed me what she meant. The racks were divided into each testimonial. She said one of the testimonial is from Atlanta, and you could see how that southern belle look was different from the California girl’s laid-back, lose fitting section. Mine was all pseudo professional, but fun and flirty. She shopped at Nordstrom and Anthropologie for me. A girl after my own heart. : )

I really enjoyed learning more about Julie’s craft and how she does what she does. She’s been in the business for 22 years and worked on everything from VH1 reality shows to Matel commercials and Proactiv infomercials. Check out her website here:

And enjoy the pics I took below of my trip thus far!

Early Bird Event at Soho Boutique

Looking for a fabulous dress for an upcoming vaca? Need an outfit that’ll set off fireworks for the July 4th weekend? Look no further than Soho Boutique and its big sale July 1.

Right in the heart of Hyde Park (not exactly on the square but it’s close on Observatory), this chic shop offers a great opportunity to find the perfect dress. This store is brimming with great finds and tons of light summer dresses. And the owner Amy not only has a great name (hehe!) but she’s very nice and knowledgeable.

Stop in July 1 from 10 am to 8 pm for their Early Bird Event and find something great! Items have been marketed down 10-50%!

Use the coupon between 10-11 am and get an additional $30 off!

Use the coupon between 11 am to 1 pm and get an additional $20 off!

Use the coupon between 1-8pm and get an additional $10 off!


From the Publisher of Cincy Chic