This Week on Cincy Chic: Revamp, Renew, Revitalize

Revamp, Renew, Revitalize

Revamp, Renew, Revitalize

Turn your life and look around

In 2009, Cincinnati voted in a casino, Tiger “transgressed” and your denim went from skinny to boyfriend. Lots can change in just one year, but one thing that usually doesn’t is you falling to the bottom of your priority list. Resolve to change that with these six simple ways to find a new you in the New Year.
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Smitten with a Mitten
Indulge in Turkey (the country, not the bird). Learn how you can renew your skin – and career – from dull to decadent with a local company based on an ancient Turkish spa service.

Achieving Localization with Revitalization
As trends change, even restaurants need to keep focus on modern mentality. This Cincinnati restaurant kept local desires in mind with its city-centered concepts and farm-fresh ingredients.

A Phoenix in Glendale
When you hit rock bottom, you only can go up from there. Read on to see how the owner of the recently restored Century House did just that and found triumph through tragedy.

Invigorate Your Workout
Boring shouldn’t be the way to describe your workout routine, so if that fits your fitness right now, learn how you can revitalize your routine to add “adventurous” to its description.

Revitalize Your Skin
It’s a new year, but you still have 2009’s blemishes and lines on your face. Let this local esthetician save your skin so that you can start off the new decade with a fresh face.

Chic Spotlight: Merchants of That Shop in Milford
By transforming your grandma’s furniture into conversation pieces, two local ladies offer a way to add a unique touch to your space without breaking the bank. Woah, watch out Pottery Barn!

Sensible Fitness: Renew Outlook to Reach Resolution
Get in the driver’s seat and buckle up because you are in for a wild ride! Our fitness guru shares a new perspective on how you can drive yourself to your desired fitness destination.

Cents & Sensibility: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
Revamping your life doesn’t have to mean an immediate and drastic change. Our financialista reviews how slight modifications with Life Success Seminars led her to a new career.

Ask Patty: New Priorities for the New Year
Patty has some advice for a local couple who seems to have put their love life on hold for the holidays. She offers some helpful tips to set sparks for the New Year.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
Jan. 13 – Work Smart, Not Hard Workshop
Jan. 19 – Business at Breakfast
Jan. 20 – Martinis and Mentors
Jan. 21 – New Year, New You!
Jan. 22-Jun. 18 – Chic Chef Cooking Series
Jan. 26 – eWomenNetwork “Accelerated Networking” Event
Jan. 27 – InnerCircles for Women Networking Lunch
Jan. 27 – Free Lunch ‘n’ Learn: Women and Heart Disease
Jan. 29-31 – Cincinnati Boutique Sale
Jan. 29 – Wine Down at the Wise Owl
Feb. 3 – Fashion and Fun
Feb. 16 – Business at Breakfast: Business Partnerships

LA Looks

My last two blog posts have been about my trip to LA, so let’s just make it an even three. : )

teal tights
My outfit today, yay teal tights!

I just had so much fun out there people watching. Granted, we were staying right next to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, so there were literally a lot of characters (Star Trek, Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe impersonators to name a few) slinking about. But I really just loved people watching. I loved the fashion forward style mixed with a special blend of Cali’s “anything goes” attitude.

I thought I’d share with you a few things I noticed and loved about the looks and styling I saw in LA. First and foremost (not that I like it or condone it) but spandex is the new black out there. We’re talking black, skin tight, what I wore with my cheerleading uniform 15 years ago spandex. Lots of women were wearing spandex with a tank and off the shoulder tee (hello, Flash Dance). I also saw spandex paired with a sweater and uggs (yes, some thought 70 degrees was freezing). And at night, I saw lots of spandex-stiletto combos with girls heading to the club.

Forever 21 Cross Strap Bootie, $26.80
Forever 21 Cross Strap Bootie, $26.80

Spandex’s cousin, tights, were also popular. I am much more comfortable with this craze and am happily jumping on this bandwagon. In fact, I purchased 10 pairs of tights in a variety of colors and I’m having lots of fun with them! Today, I was in a teal mood (check out the pic!). I belted (Forever 21) a cozy sweater (Nordstrom) I got for Christmas, with a brown dress (Gap), brown boots (Morrison & Me) and a fab bag (Stop Traffick Fashion) I bought myself for Christmas. The tights add a fun pop of color to an otherwise boring outfit. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any leggings that could be worn like pants, because that was something I saw a lot of. Not sure I feel comfortable going there, but I will certainly give it a valiant try should I find any thick leggings (suggestions on where to buy them are welcome!)

Last but not least, booties are big. I love them! I am a runner, so I tend to have larger leg muscles than most. I usually cant fit into boots that come to the knee, so the second I saw booties I knew I was in love! You get the look of a boot without worrying if the made-for-a- Kate-Moss-leg shoe would fit your leg! I found several booties at the Forever 21 out there, so I’m assuming they’re available at local Forever 21 stores. I’m including a picture of the pair of booties I purchased out there.

I hope you enjoy the insight into the LA street style I picked up during our short trip there. We’re now off to Gatlinburg where we’ll be ringing in the new year. Somehow I don’t think I’ll have as much to report on the Applicachian style I’ll be seeing! : )

Happy New Year! Here’s to a fabulous 2010!

These Boots Were Made for Saving

LA boots
My FREE Nordstrom boots!

As you learned in my last blog, my husband and I were in LA last week so he could do a performance with Nancy Cartwright of Bart Simpson fame.

Sure, I could talk about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it was to be a dinner guest at Nancy’s home and to see my husband perform up on stage with Hollywood’s finest. But on the other hand, I could talk about the $500 boots I got for FREE at Nordstrom in LA.

I will talk about Nancy in a future blog (and share pics!), but I need to give my fellow shop-o-holics the excuse you need to go to LA and shop.

So, as you can imagine, it’s warm in LA right now. Actually, it was borderline hot a couple of the days we were out there. The day Cincinnati got several inches of snow? Yeah, I was lounging by a pool.

How does this relate to free boots at Nordstrom? Well, I discovered that the supply and demand for winter clothes and shoes in LA isn’t what it is in Cincinnati. Anything pseudo wintery was marked waaaay down. It was unbelievable. So, I dashed over to their boot rack and found some incredible over-the-knee black suede boots. Originally $500, marked down to $60-something dollars! I had a $100 gift card my co-workers got me for my birthday (I’ve been a good girl … I’ve waited since June to use it!). So, I got the boots, flip flops (which were ironically full price), and suede protectant spray with my gift card. Thus, free! : )

I have since worn them twice, and I’m wearing them today! They are so comfortable and practical! They keep my legs so warm! I took a page out of the Kasmira book of tricks and wore colorful leggings with the boots so just a little pop of color peeks through the top of the boot and the bottom of my dress.

So, a word to the frugal fashionitas out there, take a trip to LA in the dead of winter and stock up on all your winter wear. You’ll pay for the trip with all your savings. At least that’s how I rationalized it every time I swiped my credit card! : )

Bart-Worthy Theater Attire

My husband had me at “doh!”

That’s right, my husband wooed me with a Homer Simpson impersonation. When I met my now-husband, Pete Scalia, he was a traveling musician and voice-over artist. Today, he is the morning anchor at Fox 45/ABC 22 in Dayton, but he still does music and voice-overs on the side.

A few months ago, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson (who is originally from the Dayton area), came back to her hometown and Pete got to do an interview with her. They became fast friends, and before he knew it, she was asking him to do “theater of the mind” performances to raise money for charity. He did one recently in Dayton and he has one coming up this week in LA.

We are so excited! Pete has a performance this week in LA with a superstar (literally) cast mates, who include: Robert Towers (“Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Benjamin 1932-1934), Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson), Phil Proctor (Big Brother, Rugrats, Finding Nemo, and Princess and the Frog), Josh Robert Thompson (voice of “Fake” Arnold Schwarzenegger on “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson”) and narrated by R.F. Daley (Broadway actor “Cats” and “Sweeny Todd”).

The event will take place at the Golden Age Theater on Hollywood Blvd, which requires “theater attire.” And afterward, Nancy invited us to dinner at her house. Talk about a big night for us!

Cheering on my talented husband as he plays the LEAD character (!!!), rubbing elbows with a “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” cast member (aka one degree away from Brad Pitt), and eating dinner at Bart Simpson’s house. Who does that? And more importantly, what do you wear to that?

I peered into my closet and asked each piece if they could rise to this fine occasion. Each one sagged with unworthiness as they shook their cowl, turtle and v-necks in disappointment. I came to the conclusion that I need to splurge (I actually haven’t been shopping in a couple months!), and buy a special outfit for this star spangled night in the Hollywood hills.

I visited my favorite local experts, boutiques and stores, and came up with this ensemble that twinkles with gold, glitz and glamor. Most were splurge pieces, but my focal point dress was a steal of a deal. What do you think?
Theater Attire Collage

Dotted Lace Strapless Dress ($27.80, Forever 21)
shu uemura gold leaf shadow & lashes ($79, Sephora)
Stuart Weitzman black ruffle pumps ($179, Cincy Designer Shoes)
Gold BCBG Maxazria Sequined Evening Clutch Purse ($98, BCBG)

This Week on Cincy Chic: Making up is Hard to Do

Making up is hard to doMaking up is Hard to Do
Resolutioners reveal their progress
At the beginning of the year, three women won makeover packages through Cincy Chic, and they’re back to let you know how well they’ve stuck to their New Year’s resolutions. Check out the “before” and “after” of these local ladies.

New Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures
Going under the knife isn’t for everyone. One local doctor gives us the scoop on two new – even better – options for freshening up your face and beautifying your body for the holidays and New Year.

A Diamond in the Rough
Give yourself a new jewelry wardrobe with the one you already have. Learn how this local gem can turn your unused jewelry into chic pieces you won’t want to take off.

Tonic without the Twist
Put down that Red Bull and vodka, and pour out your “light” beer. It’s time for a spirited makeover, so grab your gals and become a part of the “cocktail cultural renaissance”!

Turning Beauty Inside Out
Home is where the heart is, and that’s where beauty should be too, so this local massage therapist brings the spa to you as you celebrate life with friends.

Fitness Flipping
Just after “The Biggest Loser” finale, you might be looking for a body transformation, and this local fitness facility has what it takes to help make that happen.

Upping the WOW Factor
Take your house’s curb appeal to new heights with this local mother and son who have made over their careers so that they can make over your house. Learn how this Tri-State team keeps the city blooming with possibilities.

Chic Spotlight: Minxanista Veniece Hughes
Make over your idea of a manicure with this new trend. A local nail artist fills you in on how your nails can keep their chic for a week or longer.

Sensible Fitness: Sprint to Fail or Take Time to Succeed

A drastic transformation doesn’t always come overnight. Our fitness expert provides insight into giving yourself the makeover you need, the way you need it.

Cents & Sensibility: Money Makeover
Getting out of debt sounds great. It’s just getting there that’s the problem. Learn how our financialista found financial freedom with her own money makeover and how you can too.

Chic Eats: Roasted Grape Tartines

Wow family and friends with a modern version of the tartine. Our new Chic Chef whips up these simple but elegant appetizers you can add to your culinary repertoire.

Media Maven: “Julie and Julia” Movie Review

Just released on DVD and Blu-ray Dec. 8, this movie might make a great holiday gift for the food lover on your list. Our Media Maven helps you decide.

Beat the Winter Beauty Woes

Well, it happened for the first time this year. I pulled on my favorite sweater and my whole head of hair started to magically levitate. ‘Tis the season’s static greetings!

Conveniently, I spent a good majority of my day at Tuscany Spa and Salon in Montgomery covering an upcoming makeover story we’re doing for Cincy Chic. So, while I was there, I asked the GM, Liz Reaney how to tame my tresses during the winter months.

Here’s what she said:

  • Always use a Leave-In conditioner during the winter months.  Choose a conditioner with a thermal protectant to help with static.
  • When you have trouble with fly-a-ways, take a very small amount of pomade, rub it in your hands thoroughly before putting in your hair.
  • Use a hydrating shampoo during the winter months to add moisture to your hair.
  • Try a hydrating hair masque once a week to keep your hair in great condition.
  • When you schedule your next hair appointment, add on a deep conditioning treatment to help prevent your hair from drying out.
  • For your hands and feet, paraffin treatments are perfect in the winter.  The oils in the paraffin help with cracked, dry nails and leave your skin soft and smooth.
  • Use a hydrating facial mask once a week in the winter to combat the harsh elements.

I thought these were great tips so I wanted to share! : ) Oh, and I go in for a haircut/color on Monday… wondering what to do. I feel like I need a change, but I’m not sure what to do. Suggestions are welcome!

UPDATE: Here’s the new (shorter) ‘do!
shorter hair

The Eyes Have It

I swear, a few minutes every week with a makeup artist can really open your eyes. Literally.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting in a weekly dose of Nancy at Brideface because I just love all the fun little pointers I pick up when I spend time with her.

I recently participated in her “Brows for a Cause” brow-shaping event she’s doing. Every Wednesday in December, she’ll shape your brows for $15 and 100% of the proceeds go to the American Heart Association.

I thought it was such a great idea that I blogged about it last week before I went. I knew I’d learn a ton, so I recorded it for you so you can see what “Brows for a Cause” is like and pick up all Nancy’s tips so you can DIY at home! (e-mail her at nancy@brideface.com if you want to sign up for a Brows for a Cause appointment)

Watch the video below to see how Nancy expertly shaped my brows, the tools she used and products she loves!

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FB’s and Fake Blinkers

FBs
My Girlfriends and I at FBs

When I asked the owner of the new FB’s bar downtown what “FB” stood for, he just smiled and said “whatever you want it to stand for.”

I was intrigued with the ambiguity and creativity. But I couldn’t come up with anything fitting. The first thing that came to my mind was Facebook,  because we shorthand “FB” for Facebook at work all…the…time. So, I asked some of my Twitter friends what they thought. My favorite ideas were from @begleyh who suggested Fancy Boots, Funny Bones and Falling Boobs. : )

Falling boobs or not – whatever it stands for, I think it’s a fun concept, and it adds a little character and spontaneity to Cincinnati’s bar scene. Another thing I like about FB’s is their Alice in Wonderland “with a Twist” atmosphere. Remember the Twist Lounge that was next to Pigalls? I loved that place. I loved the feel of the space and the mix of people. There were people of all ages there, and everyone got dressed up to go. I liked that and I couldn’t find it again after it closed.

FBs
FB's cocktail lounge area on the main floor

Even though Twist reopened as Tonic – and I do really like Tonic – it just feels different. They now serve food there (which changes the atmosphere), they added more furniture (which changes the flow), and a bunch of other things changed like the music/clientele/drinks/etc. I like it, but it’s different than before.

I found out this new place called FB’s would be opening up and I heard they wanted to attract the Twist demographic. That caught my attention. Then I saw the space. It’s fantastic. Bold patterned wall paper, over-sized furniture, and a funky color scheme. There are some hints of Mad Hatter/Alice in Wonderland inspirations speckled throughout and I think that’s fun to look around and pick those out. Like a blue old fashioned telephone on a coffee table, a huge yellow chair, and a checkerboard table in the middle of the lounge.

The main floor is a cocktail lounge that caters to the casually upscale (not snooty or hoity toity at all). Downstairs, aka the “Rabbit Hole,” is a nightclub on weekends (not my scene). Anyone can get in the nightclub or on the main floor, but only those on “the list” can get upstairs. I’ve never been on this mysterious list, so I don’t know what it’s like up there. But I do really, really like the main floor. It fits the bill for what I was looking for in a sophisticated but not stuffy, refined but relaxed downtown happy hour hangout.

FBs
FB's downstairs club area

I especially liked the crowd – very urban chic. I talked to a couple in their mid-40s. He had just moved from NYC and got a job here in the arts. She was a dental hygienist on the West Side. They live downtown.

I also talked to a few other YPs, ranging from 25-45ish, who lived in the suburbs and were there for our friend Monika’s birthday party. It’s a very suburb-friendly place because there’s a $1 for 2 hours lot literally 10 steps away, right across the street, from FB’s.

You do have to know where you’re going though. The owners want the place to be discreet and only be known by those who need to know about it. On the upside, there aren’t cheesy neon signs flashing outside. On the downside, that means you need to get your eagle eyes out to spot it. For future reference, it’s at 126 W. 6th Street, about 50 yards down from Walgreens.FBs

One of the cool things I suggest you splurge on is their “TSM” service. It’s tableside mixology, which means you essentially get a private bar and tender for an evening. This isn’t the “table service” which basically means they slop a couple bottles of booze on your table and say “make it yourself” but charge you out the wazoo for it. TSM is a great way to get the attention you want and need for a special night out without fighting a crowd or wasting time waiting in line at a bar.

The owners said they’re going to have an incredible New Year’s Eve party there. I didn’t get many details because I will be out of town, but I hear it is sponsored by a huge champagne company and will be tres tres chic. Sounds like a place we’d definitely be if we were in town (I’ll be in a Gatlinburg cabin with my hubby and puppy though!). If you’re interested, I’m sure you can call FB’s and get more info.

And just because I’m on a makeup kick this week, I’ll throw in a little NYE makeup trend to end this post since we’re on the topic of the big ball-dropping night (already, seriously, can you believe it’s almost 2010?!). So, here’s my prediction…. EYELASHES. The funkier the better. Feathers, sparkles and lace (yes, even lace). The more elaborate the better. Make them too lush to be true. Here’s some inspiration for your FBs (Fake Blinkers)! : )
eyelashes
eyelashes
eyelashes

Images courtesy of Robot Nine

Brows for a Cause (and 2010 Makeup Trends!)

In my short 27 years on this Earth, I’ve seen eyebrows change more than Chad Johnson/Ocho Cinco/Esteban changes names.

Dita
Dita Von Teese - dark brow, blood-hued lips

It all started when Brooke Shields threw away her tweezers in the 80s. Women eventually got tired of brushing back their bushy brows, and they started penciling in super skinny brows like Pamela Anderson. We went au naturale for a while and now we’re trending back to a bold brow.

To help us keep up with the tweezing trends, one of my favorite local makeup artists – Nancy with Brideface – is hosting “Brows for a Cause” each Wednesday in December from 11am-6pm. Make and appointment via email to nancy@brideface.com and get flawlessly shaped brows for a $15 donation. 100% of the proceeds go to The American Heart Association! What a great idea, huh? : )

And in light of this fun event, I’m going to report on what I think are going to be a few big eyebrow/makeup trends in 2010.

rhianna
Rihanna - light eye color, glam lips

What can brown do for you? It can get you en vogue with this season’s trends. The whole spectrum – everything from hot cocoa all the way to light dusty brown – is on trend, and should be on your eyes.

Also, in terms of colors, you have to take into consideration the impact of trends like Twilight saga.  Check out the Cincy Chic feature story on Nordstrom’s exclusive Luna Twilight beauty line, which is an entire line of bloody lipsticks that are flying off the shelves.

Thick black and brown eyebrows are a makeup trend for 2009-2010. They brightly contour the eye shadow and draw attention to the eye.

Fall-Winter 2009/2010 makeup mixes up colorless eyes and bright lips, glam eyes and pale lips supplemented with cheeks and eyebrows hues. It’s a time where we’re testing limits, so have fun with it!

Photos: from People.com

Thanks, Giving and Getting Great Black Friday Deals

This month has been one for the records. It all started two weeks ago when, on my morning jog, I was literally hit by a pick-up truck. The driver didn’t see me when I crossed the street – luckily only resulting in some bumps and bruises. A week later, our upstairs toilet malfunctioned, overflowed, kept running and poured water throughout three stories of our home while we slept. We are now in the process of tearing out one bathroom and repairing the other two floors (yay home ownership). And the third in this terrific trifecta happened last week when my Grandma took a serious tumble and is now left with two black eyes – what she is affectionately calling her “broken face.”

Baby Sara Paige
Baby Sara Paige

But, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m trying to see the positive in all of this. The truck incident will make me more aware of my surroundings when I run (and look both ways 18 times before crossing!), the bathroom issue is actually resulting in a brand new bathroom (we were planning to repair anyway) on our insurance’s dime, and the third gave me the excuse to bring my Grandma lunch today to make her feel better.

Someone once told me “You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights” and it’s so true. While none of those things happened to me, I experienced my own variation. And now, instead of being sad they happened, I’m actually…. thankful.

I have another thing to be thankful for, too. I’m officially “Aunt Amy”! My brother and his wife, Erin, had a beautiful baby girl named Sara Paige last Monday night. She’s beautiful and perfect and I love her so much already.

Maybe the new addition to the family got me in the giving spirit, or maybe I just love shopping, but I’m almost completely done with my holiday shopping! I wish I could tell you what I purchased, but my friends and family frequent this blog too much for me to not let the cat out of the bag.

All I’m going to say is that I’m completely in love with Stop Traffick Fashion. A local woman (with a fabulous fashion sense) started an online shopping site where you can get the latest and greatest handbags, jewelry and skin care, and proceeds benefit victims of human trafficking.

Stop Traffick Fashion
Stop Traffick Fashion Handbag

Click here to check out an upcoming shopping event they’re having at The McAlpin downtown on 4th St on Dec. 5. She has some gorgeous products, and they look even better in person, so I highly recommend you come to this event!

But there’s lots of goodies to gobble up in the meantime with all the price-slashing going on this Friday! Below are my top picks for the Tri-State’s best Black Friday Sales!

Black Friday Sale at Missy & Jack!
Friday November 27, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Take 25% OFF the entire store! Enjoy pastries and apple spritzers all day long while you shop and check out their latest collections, which include: Citizens of Humanity, LA MADE, Hudson Jeans, Michael Stars, Paige Denim

Missy & Jack
5861 Deerfield Blvd. Mason, Ohio 45040
(513) 770-0512
www.missyandjack.com

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obsess boutique – 20% off!
At obsess boutique, mention “Cincy Chic” and save 20% off retail on any item! Sale ends Nov. 27! Click here to see a recent fashion show we did with obsess boutique clothing and Stop Traffick handbags!

obsess boutique
9393 Montgomery Road
Montgomery, Ohio 45242
(513) 793-4777
www.obsessboutique.com

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Cincy Designer Shoes Holiday Sale
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 – Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Cincy Designer Shoes is having one heck of a holiday sale. More than 40% of its inventory has been reduced 15-35%. In addition to those mark downs, they’re offering an additional 15% off this week only! While you’re there, register to win a free pair of Dezario Boots!

Cincy Designer Shoes
2717 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 321-1924
www.cincyshoes.com

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La Silhouette Lingerie – Anniversary Sale
This isn’t a Black Friday sale, but it’s a sale nonetheless. La Silhouette is celebrating two years in the Tri-State! To celebrate, they’re offering 20% off today through December 5, 2009 on non-sale merchandise.

La Silhouette carries the world’s top lingerie brands like: Bagley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Cass and Co., Chantelle, Cosabella, Elle Macpherson, Feraud, Foxers, Hanky Panky, Huit, Jane Woolrich, La Perla, Millesia, Natori, Oscar de la Renta, Prima Donna, Simone Perele, Verena, and Wolford.

La Silhouette Lingerie
6914 Miami Ave., Madeira, OH 45243
(513) 272-8100
www.lasilhouettelingerie.com

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Richter and Phillips Second Annual Watch Trunk Show
Want to get the man in your life a timeless holiday gift this year? Skip the Black Friday rush and head to Richter and Phillips second annual Watch Trunk Show will on Friday December 4th from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. and Saturday December 5th from 10 a.m. to 5p.m. Special pricing on all Major Swiss Watch Brands Omega, Tag Heuer, Tissot, Rado, Movado, Michele, Philip Stein, Hamilton and others.

Richter & Phillips
202 East Sixth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 241-3510
www.richterphillips.com

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And while we’re on the subject of Thanksgiving, and giving thanks, please stop by this page to share your thoughts on what makes you thankful this year.

To check out more Black Friday deals, click here!

From the Publisher of Cincy Chic