Big Red ‘Mader Scarves

big red maderHis momma always told him she loved him more than big red ‘maters.

The fact Harold was higher on the hierarchy than tomatoes really stuck with him. So, when living off the land at his farm wasn’t paying the bills, he decided to try something new… fashion.

That’s right. This man… who’s old enough to be my father… who lives on a farm… decided to break into the fashion industry. And in my opinion, he succeeded.

big red mader

Here’s what he does. He takes old t-shirts, tears them up, twists, twirls, braids, embellishes (with silver pendants you can slide on and off the scarf threads) and knots them up into scarves. Cute, adorable, fashion-forward scarves that can dress up a tee and jeans, take a work outfit into night, or just add some fun flare to a casual out-and-about outfit. In homage to his mother, he named his company “Big Red ‘Mater.”

I found his scarves at Sara Benjamin’s (in Mariemont) today and I fell in love. Apparently, Harold walked into the store a short while ago and told his story to the owners and they big red maderimmediately fell in love with him and his products.

The owners said he was super genuine – explained him as a soft natured  grandfather with a California vibe. How could you say no to that?

I don’t know where else you can get a Big Red ‘Mader scarf. But I do know you can get them at the ever-fabulous Sara Benjamin’s. (Random confession: I just bought my third cocktail dress in two years there… all of which have been at least 60% off! Sweet!)

big red mader
Lauren Carr, Manager

I was too focused on buying a dress for a masquerade event I’m going to tomorrow that I didn’t buy a scarf, but I fully plan on going back and buying one. You have to be in the right mood to buy certain things. I was in dress mode… but I did appreciate how fantastic these scarves were. I hope you do, too.

In fact, I love them more than big red ‘maders.

Valentine’s Events, Sales and Retail Aphrodisiacs

unique boutiqueUnique Boutique Shopping Event
Get ready for the big night with lots of shopping, sipping, fashion and fun. This “Unique Boutiques…The Ultimate in Chic Shopping” event is great for a girls day out or a date day out with your man.

February 13, 2010
10:00am – 6:00pm

Oscar Event Center (Above Jungle Jim’s International Market)
5440 Dixie Hwy.
Fairfield, OH 45014

Designs by Paolo will be presenting their 2nd annual, high-end boutique shopping experience in the Cincinnati area on Saturday February 13, 2010. We have tagged this exclusive one day event: Unique Boutiques…The Ultimate in Chic Shopping. A variety of artists, designers and specialty boutique owners from all over, will showcase their distinctive product lines at this event. There will be a cigar area for the boys, so feel free to bring your man and make a day of it!

This festive gathering is anticipated to warm up the winter and be the highlight of the Valentine gift season for both men and women.

Ticket Price: General admission $10.00 / VIP Level $20.00
Website to Buy Ticket:

* The Prelude to Unique Boutiques is Friday February 12, 2010.  From 6:00pm-10:00pm. Unique Boutiques VIP Preview Event to benefit the LIFT Scholarship Fund.  Tickets are $85.00 and only 400 tickets are available.


Pure Romance Warehouse Sale
Pure Romance Parties may be for ladies only, but the Pure Romance Warehouse Sale is for everyone! Go with your hubby and pick out some fun you both can enjoy! They only do this once a year!

Friday, February 5th – Sunday, February 14th

10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

161 Commerce Blvd
Loveland, OH 45140


Valentine’s Week Sale and Party at Obsess
On Thursday Feb. 11, 3-7pm, Enjoy complimentary drinks, treats and chances to win numerous door prizes. All week long, every guest will get one drawing from our heart discount bowl. Heart discounts are from 10-50% off retail price on your entire purchase! Drop by, have some fun and get a great deal on that special Valentine’s Day outfit! Sale is going on now through Sunday Feb. 14.

9393 Montgomery Road Cincinnati, OH 45242-7725 – (513) 793-4777

Get Lingerie – A Gift You’ll Both Enjoy!
Gifts that disappear are so last year! Flowers and candy are here for a moment and then gone! But you can never have enough of: Love, more love, lacey silky nighties, panties and bras.

Drop a hint. Leave little notes around. Circle the calendar dates. Help your love find you what you really, really want this year from La Silhouette.

Mention “Cincy Chic” and get a free bra for every five bras purchased
and 35% off one bra of your choice.
6914 Miami Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45243
(513) 272-8100


femme fataleFemme Fatale Fashion Show
Feb. 12, 6-7:30pm at FBs downtown (126 W. 6th St.)
Followed by the after-party 8pm-2am

La Silhouette and Le Poison Productions are hosting a lingerie fashion show at FB’s this Friday. I love La Silhouette (hence why they got into this post two times… but hey it’s for Valentine’s Day, I had to), and I enjoy FB’s, my new fav urban chic hotspot downtown. Sounds like a great time, plus proceeds are benefiting the American Red Cross’ Haiti efforts.

This Week on Cincy Chic: Celebrate Your Valentine

Celebrate Your ValentineCelebrate Your Valentine

Romantic deals, discounts, events

“Be Mine” messages greet you on your window shopping outings. Love is in the air ‚Äî and Cincy Chic plays cupid to match you with your perfect Valentine’s Day. So read on to discover new gift possibilities, Valentine sweepstakes, chic shopping opportunities and more.

It’s sexy, sensual and the perfect gift for you and your loved one. No, it’s not perfume or lingerie. Learn about the latest trend in photography that’s capturing beautiful bodies across the Tri-State.

Blissfully Sexy
Comfy doesn’t have to mean frumpy, and this local company has expanded its products to prove it. So slip into something a little more comfortable, and keep your style with this new clothing line.

Cincinnati Dating Meets Reality – TV
Watch out, single ladies, and get excited! This dating expert left her Midwest roots years ago but is back home and fiercely ready to take on the Cincinnati dating world.

All the Single Ladies
Cincinnati might not be a dater’s best friend, but one local woman chronicles her Queen City dating experiences to provide insight, encouragement and a couple of laughs.

Opening Your Lines of Sexual Health Communication
Headache? No problem. Broken arm? Easily discussed. But when it comes to sex, the conversation stops. One local expert offers reasons and advice for talking about your sexual health.

Monthly Makeover Mania: Janice Ison
This local woman took time out of her beyond busy schedule to give herself a break with a Cincy Chic makeover. Read on to learn about her transformation from farm-girl drab to stylishly fab!

Chic Spotlight: Millionaire Matchmaker Nicci Sprouse
Love is in the air, and this local matchmaker is harnessing that romance for some of the city’s most eligible bachelors. Learn how she helps Cincinnatians find their “one and only.”

Sensible Fitness: All Dolled up but Who to Impress?
You spend hours upon hours carefully selecting products to make your appearance, but is your Cover Girl a cover up? Our fitness guru delves into the issues beneath the makeup.

Chic Eats: Parsley Dijon Aioli Steak Sandwiches
Take your taste buds on a romantic journey through the French countryside without leaving your kitchen or breaking the bank. Our Chic Chef shows you how to create deliciously frugal cuisine.

Media Maven: “Invictus” Movie Review
With major industry players in this true-story-gone-Hollywood movie, does this film live up to its cast? Our Media Maven helps you know if this film will surpass expectations or fall short on the field.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
Now-Feb. 14 – Pure Romance Warehouse Sale
Feb. 10 – Work/Life Balance: What Does it Mean to You?

Feb. 12-14 – Free Tan Weekend
Feb. 16 – Work S
mart, Not Hard Workshop
Feb. 16 – Business at Breakfast: Business Partnerships

Feb. 17 – Pink Goes Red

Fake It Till You Make It

Renie's ever-changing looksI’m going to tell you a little story about my friend, Renie. She’s known as the chameleon of the crowd because she whimsically adapts and changes her look on a weekly if not daily basis.

I’m not talking just going curly versus straight. She goes curly, straight, long, short, wig, red, blonde, brunette… and my personal favorite… the phony pony.

Well, in the Fall last year she fell victim to a very very bad hair cut. Her bangs were literally little spikes, and it looked like a 4-year-old with scissors took to the back of her hair. It was baaaad.

Hair has always been very important to Renie. So this devastated her. She’s been trying like heck to grow her hair back, but it’s been growing slower than molasses. Lately, she would either just wear hats, a wig, her phony pony (clip-on pony tail), or slick it all back. I could tell that none of these made her feel 100% and it was really affecting her self esteem.

Well, about a month ago, I went to Perfections in Montgomery to a hair extension 101 event where people could learn about extensions, how they’re applied and maintained. I went to learn about it for me (I decided I would look best with short hair). But the whole time I kept thinking how perfect it would be for Renie!

I suggested she get the extensions so she doesn’t have to wait for her hair to grow out to get her confidence back. So, she went and checked it out, learned more about them and decided to get them. Angie, the stylist that applies the extensions, suggested that she do an angled bob cut so she gets a few extra inches in front to give her the length around the face she’s used to, but she doesn’t have to pay to have a full head of extensions put on.Renie's transformation

So, they put on about 50 strands (versus the 100 they would put on someone who wanted a full head of extensions). After they put in her extensions, it looked so funny – kind of like a reverse mullet. But Kenneth, the owner, is famous for his dry cutting. He quickly turned that mullet into one marvelous angled bob cut.

He was going blow it out and straighten it, but Renie said she usually wets her hair, scrunches and goes to work, so he did that instead. The extensions are made of real hair from Europe and you can choose from curly, “beach wave,” or straight hair. Renie picked the beach wave so she can have the flexibility to straighten or scrunch without having to fight to make it work.

These extensions will help give the allusion of longer hair until Renie grows her own hair to this length. Kenneth suggested a couple ways to help grow hair faster: Prenatal vitamins and massaging the scalp with dry hair every day. See the video below for a demonstration.

The extensions were $11 per strand and she got 50 strands in. Plus, she got color and a glossing, and Kenneth’s dry cut is $65. This all ended up being about $700 total. And the maintenance, which she’ll need in about 5 weeks will be $120. But, as Renie said, it’s a small price to pay to get her confidence back.

Renie said she is so glad she did it and loves her new hair. She said it looks and feels like real hair and she’s already gotten lots of compliments on her new look. People have no clue they’re extensions. She said next time when she goes in, she wants to get a few strands of blonde and maybe even a little purple for a streaking effect.
before and after
There are a few things anyone with extensions needs to be careful about:

  • No brushing your hair from scalp to tip. Because the hair is attached at the scalp, you could accidentally rip out your real hair and extension if you brush it like you would normal hair. What you need to do is hold your hair in a pony tail and brush the ends.
  • No Redken products. Angie said there’s too much protein in this particular product and it will ruin the extensions.
  • Don’t go to bed with wet hair. Angie said this is bad for your hair regardless of if you have extensions, but it’s especially bad for anyone with them.

I’ll be going with Renie to document her first maintenance appointment in five weeks to see how that’s done. So, stay tuned for that. And in a few months when her hair has grown out, I’ll be checking in with her to see if she will be taking them out! Who knows with this chameleon cutie what she’ll want to do next! : )

Check out the video below to see the entire process unfold from start to finish!


This Week on Cincy Chic: Go for the Gold

Go for the Gold

Go for the Gold

Fashion week comes to Cincinnati

Move over, Bryant Park, because fashion week is coming to the Queen City! That’s right: One local designer makes his dream a reality by giving Cincinnati five days of fashion-focused fun. Discover how you can be a part of the journey.

As Good as Golden
As bikini season approaches, don’t fret about your base tan. You can use this new sunless tanner option to do the trick ‚Äî sans the streaks and smell.

From “Runway” Game to Fashion-World Fame
This DAAP graduate’s designs made heads turn as she fashioned her way to being runner-up on “Project Runway.” Learn where she is now and how she continues to strive for success.

Home, Sweat, Home
Finding a home in health might seem like an unusual goal, but this local woman helps clients develop long-term lifestyles and turn goal “setting” into “achieving” with these five steps.

Leave Your Legacy
It may not be the Fountain of Youth, but this Cincinnati-based professional networking group serves to help you achieve immortality. Learn how you can stake your claim.

Making Every Day Saturday
With the rush, rush society, setting and maintaining the priorities we want in life often prove to be difficult. Read how one man reset his priorities and transformed his world into the life he desired.

Chic Spotlight: Olympic Trainer Mary Lee Tracy
She strives for success and encourages young women to represent Team USA as they go for the gold. Go behind the scenes with this local trainer to learn how you can achieve your perfect 10.

Sensible Fitness: Establish Goals and Triumph
One month down and 11 more to go for 2010’s resolutions. Whether you’ve stayed on the horse or need to get back on, our fitness guru has some advice for achieving healthy success.

Cents & Sensibility: Affording Your Dream Vacation
Don’t go to your grave without taking your dream vacation solely because of the daunting cost of the getaway. Follow these steps to “find” the money and set sail within just a couple years.

Ask Patty: Bringing Sexy Back
A post-pregnancy body can keep you from feeling as sexy as pre-baby, but our sexpert shares some ways to restore the intimacy in your relationships and the confidence you’ve been missing.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
Feb. 3 – Fashion and Fun
Feb. 5 –
Lady in Red
Feb. 10 – Work/Life Balance: What Does it Mean to You?
Feb. 12-14 – Free Tan Weekend
Feb. 16 – Work S
mart, Not Hard Workshop

Feb. 16 – Business at Breakfast: Business Partnership

Feb. 17 – Pink Goes Red

Keep it Tight(s)

Stockings from The Up Factory

Consider yourself lucky, ladies. One of the hottest fashion items right now are as inexpensive as $5. That’s right… drop by your local H&M, Forever21 or online store and refresh your wardrobe with some fun tights and stockings. It’s all you need this winter to give your look an on-trend flare of fashion.

Pair them with over-the-knee boots for a peek-a-boo effect, or show off your colorful gams by pairing them with ankle boots or ballet flats. These versatile tights of any color or pattern can be worn under a long top, long sweatshirt, sweater dress, or mini skirt.

My favorite print tights (top photo) draw in the floral trend with sophistication. While other stockings are just plain fun and flirty. Here are some do’s and don’ts for keeping it tight(s).

Don’t wear tights with a top that does not cover your rear. Tights are not a replacement for pants, but an accessory to spice up your outfit.

Don’t wear more then one pattern. Don’t let things get too busy. When wearing patterned tights you will want to wear a solid colored top.

Don’t wear a tight top with your tights. By wearing a more flowing top, it will keep your legs looking lean and long.

Do keep your outfit balanced. Color matching your shoes and top well help everything to stay balanced.

Do wear a solid top when wearing patterned or printed tights. Don’t overdo it with the patterns and colors or you will soon find yourself back in the 80’s.

Do stick with solid-colored shoes, and go for a head to toe, monochromatic color scheme if you’re going to mix lots of patterns and textures.

Do layer. Layering is the key to pulling off this seasons hottest new fashion tights styles. These key items will help you to accessorize and add to this new style:

* Tunics
* Sweater Dresses
* Vests
* Jackets
* Banded Shirts
* High Heeled Ankle Boots
* Knee High Boots
* Thigh High Boots
* Ballet Flats
* Scarfs

There are several great places to stock up on stockings. I recently got some great solids in fun colors and prints at H&M. Other places to check out are, and (where all the photos in this post came from)

(Helpful hint: The Up Factory is a French company, so if you want to read their web site, go to and put in the “translate a web page” field.)

This Week on Cincy Chic: Cheap Tweets

Cheap TweetsCheap Tweets

Followorthy deals on Twitter

In today’s world your hottest deals depend on who you follow. Continue to clip your coupons, but look to these local companies that have embraced social media. Learn how you can score their unbeatable online-exclusive sales and discounts with just a couple clicks and tweets.

2010 Lady in Red Event
Have a heart – and help a heart too. Enjoy a night of cocktails, fashion and philanthropy to support the American Heart Association with Cincy Chic’s annual Lady in Red event.

Pinching Pennies Made Easy
Super Man may save the day, but one local Web site is ditching the cape and strapping on some wings to help you save more money in your (flying) piggy bank.

$5 Dinners for Four
Don’t sacrifice health in your cost-cutting grocery list. One Ohio mom shares her secrets into how to keep your meals nutritious and delicious without breaking the bank.

Space Out(fitted)
Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude. This local man survives on his smile – and constant hard work – as he works toward a strong community with his furniture-flipping ways.

Put Your Brideface Forward
Looking flawless on your wedding day is a must but what about every other day of your life? This local makeup artist dishes the dirt on saving money and looking great, no matter the occasion.

Shop for Success
Combine your shop-a-holic tendencies with your hankering to help, and you get this local boutique. Read on to learn more about how this charitably chic shop helps you get your fix.

Chic Spotlight: Share Some Sugar’s Keara Schwartz
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, and one local woman is helping you answer Mr. Rogers’ questions: Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Sensible Fitness: Is Your Health Recession-Proof?
Cutting calories also can mean cutting costs. Our fitness guru weighs in on how your health can make or break your budget, recession or not.

Chic Eats: Black Tea and Allspice Chocolate Truffles
After a day at 4th Street Boutique, transform a handful of simple ingredients into elegant après-shopping sweet indulgences. Our Chic Chef shows you a simple way to re-create boutique chocolates in your own kitchen.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
Jan. 26 – eWomenNetwork “Accelerated Networking” Event
Jan. 27 – SmartTalk Connected Conversations
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
Jan. 30 – Home Is Where the Heart Is
Jan. 30 – The Singles Mingle
Feb. 3 – Fashion and Fun
Feb. 5 – Lady in Red
Feb. 16 – Work Smart, Not Hard Workshop
Feb. 16 – Business at Breakfast: Business Partnerships

This Week on Cincy Chic: Boutique Week

Boutique WeekBoutique Week

Local flavor, fashion to savor

Have an itch for a niche? Look to this new business that spun an old factory into one fierce shop. From vintage hats to shoes made from scratch, local designers offer head-to-toe attire. So discover this hush-hush hotspot where you can furnish, fashion, alter and create — all in one place. Read More>>

Playing Grown up Dress Up
Your wardrobe should be just as fun as you are, and this local boutique has what it takes to make that happen. Read how the owner never really put playing aside as she helps customers tap into their own imaginative style.

Vowed Excellence

Get rid of your old way of thinking about wedding planning and accept this boutique’s new concept. And with your borrowed ideas, you won’t have to be blue on the big day.

Catching a Glimpse of Beauty

Who has time to spare for pampering and prettifying any more these days? This salon and spa has a special menu of time-saving services to keep your schedule on time and your look on trend.

No Ifs, Ands or Putts

Decided to get your workout on the golf course instead of at the gym? Read on to learn how this local boutique takes “golf chic” beyond the plaids and argyles of yesteryear.

Little Dog, Big Bite

Even in this dog-eat-dog world, this local advertising agency can’t seem to bite off more than it can chew. Learn how two women keep boutique service with corporate thinking.

Chic Spotlight: Soho Boutique Owner Amy Maynard

Hard work, travel and vision go into getting those fab finds on your local boutique’s shelves. We interview one local owner to get behind the scenes of a Cincinnati shop that’s oh so Soho.

Sensible Fitness: Cellulite Fact vs. Fiction

No woman wants her legs to look like they’ve been injected with cottage cheese, but what can you do about the inevitable cellulite? Our fitness guru exposes the fact vs. fiction of the issue.

Cents & Sensibility: Money-Saving Travel Tips

As we settle in for the dreary winter months, you can’t help but think of a trip to somewhere warm and sunny. Our financialista offers ways to save a few bucks while still escaping to paradise.

Ask Patty: Keeping the Spark through Pregnancy

Who said starting a family has to interfere with having the intimate life you deserve? Our sexpert sheds a little light on how to keep your bedroom flame burning.

Kirsten’s Kitchen: Think outside the Takeout Box

Our Chic Chef shares new ways to enjoy food with friends and family. Read on to learn how you can spice up your entertainment with culinary twists!

Media Maven: “Sherlock Holmes” Movie Review

No detective — fiction or not — has the reputation of Sherlock Holmes. Our Media Maven shares evidence on whether this classic tale lives up to its predecessors.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
Jan. 19 – Business at Breakfast
Jan. 20 – Martinis and Mentors
Jan. 21 – New Year, New You!
Jan. 22 – Free Botox Brunch
Jan. 22-Jun. 18 – Chic Chef Cooking Series
Jan. 26 – eWomenNetwork “Accelerated Networking” Event
Jan. 27 – SmartTalk Connected Conversations
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
Jan. 30 – Home Is Where the Heart Is
Jan. 30 – The Singles Mingle
Feb. 3 – Fashion and Fun
Feb. 5 – Lady in Red

From the Publisher of Cincy Chic