The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Amy Scalia

Amy Scalia

Amy Scalia
Publisher & CEO - Amy Scalia, a Cincinnati native, is the editor in chief and publisher of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at From growing up in the cornfields of Harrison and getting a Mass Communications B.A. degree in the bubble of Oxford, to living on the NKY side of the river in Newport and then Ft. Thomas, Amy Scalia has embraced Cincinnati with her presence. Her major life accomplishments include: being a mom of two girls and a boy, a 2010 "40 Under 40" recipient from the Cincinnati Business Courier, winning the "Best New Product/Service of the Year" Award from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and a national Web-writing award from ASHPE in 2007, a national feature writing award from ASBPE in 2006, and running three Flying Pig Marathons.

by -

Check out the best dishes to try while you're visiting the Caribbean Islands!

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. 

This proverb was attributed to Saint Ambrose, who advised Saint Monica and her son, Saint Augustine, to fast on a Saturday visit to Rome because that was the tradition of the local people.

The proverb is a good philosophy to follow anytime you travel. To get the feel of an area, you should immerse yourself in music, customs, and the clothing of the locals.

While Saint Ambrose advised his friends to fast during their visit, you would be mistaken to do that while visiting any of the Caribbean Islands, especially Jamaica. Instead follow this advice: when in Jamaica, eat as the Jamaicans do. You will fall in love with the cuisine at Jamaican resort, that you will find yourself craving the flavorful dishes when you return home.

Here are some of the best Caribbean dishes you need to try on your next trip to Jamaica. 

Jerk Chicken

Of course, if you are traveling to Jamaica, you have to try as many varieties as you can of jerk chicken. You won’t have to look too hard to find it. You’ll find it listed as an option on your upscale resort’s menu, but you will also see locals selling it from roadside shacks. It’s everywhere and for a good reason.

Jerk chicken (or pork) is marinated in a blend of spices, usually including allspice. Also added to the mixture is the Scotch Bonnet pepper. One word about the Scotch Bonnet pepper. It’s spicy. Jalapenos typically have a rating of 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville heat scale. The Scotch bonnet ranges from 100,000 to 350,000.

Don’t be nervous about purchasing food from street vendors. Any time you eat from vendors in any part of the world, make sure the food is not left out or uncovered. Visit stands that offer made-to-order meals. Look for places that look popular, especially with the locals. When you receive your food, cut through the largest piece to make sure it is cooked all the way through.

Ackee and Saltfish

While you have probably heard of jerk seasoning before, you may not have heard of the traditional Jamaican ackee and saltfish. Saltfish is just another word for cod, so there should be no surprise with that ingredient. Ackee, on the other hand, is a Jamaican fruit that has a unique texture.

Jamaicans cook ackee and saltfish with tomatoes, onions, and spices as a one-dish meal. Remember the Scotch Bonnet peppers used to season jerk chicken? You may find some of those popping up in this dish as well.

Run Down

Another one-pot dish that is popular in Jamaica has the unique name of “run down.” Do you know how it looks when the meat has been cooked into such tenderness that it falls off the bone? Now you know what “run down” means.

Rundown includes fish, yams, tomatoes, and onions. The mixture is cooked in coconut milk until the fish becomes flaky and tender.


Don’t worry, vegetarians. You won’t go hungry in Jamaica. In fact, one of their most popular dishes, callaloo, is made from cooking leafy greens. Although you may have heard of taro, you may not have heard of amaranth or Xanthosoma. Although these names sound more like something created by the pharmaceutical industry, they are, in fact, leafy greens native to the Caribbean. 

Rice and Peas

Another meat-free dish you will enjoy in the Caribbean is Rice and Peas. Don’t be confused when you receive your order, and there’s not a pea in sight. For the Jamaicans, a pea is what we would call a bean, similar to a kidney bean.

The rice and (beans) are cooked in coconut milk, and it is sometimes served as a side to jerk chicken.


Since you are on vacation, you can indulge in a few carbs, right? Bammy is the name of the Jamaican flatbread. It’s made from the yucca, is soaked in coconut milk, and then fried. It’s as good as it sounds. Yum.


Plantains are abundant in the Caribbean, and you’ll find them in both sweet and savory dishes. Although most would say they look like a banana, they are used more like a sweet potato. 

Enjoy your time in Jamaica. Enjoy the ubiquitous steel drums, drink Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the morning and rum the rest of the day. Wear colorful clothes. Get your hair braided. Finally, make sure you try the local cuisine.

by -

We're heading to a sprawling estate in Loveland for this week's Listing of the Week! Read on for a look inside!

Cincinnati’s most premier property! Custom build estate has it all! Located in loveland, private setting, outdoor kitchen, fully stocked pond, infinity pool, hot tub, 5 car heated garage with guesthouse above. This 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom home is listed at $2,950,000.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

by -

We're heading to Hyde Park for a breathtaking home in this week's Listing of the Week!

Stately Hyde Park home. Well maintained, kitchen and bathrooms updated. Beautiful hardwood floors, stained glass windows, moldings & Rookwood tiles. Spacious rooms, good flow. 3 Car garage w/guest suite above. Freshly painted inside and out. Spacious yard with privacy. This 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom home is listed at $969,000.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

by -

We're heading to Anderson for breathtaking views and spacious living in this week's Listing of the Week!

Check out this gorgeous 2-story traditional home that boasts architectural details and custom touches. The home features amazing river views from the open, bright interior. There is a gourmet kitchen that opens to breakfast and family rooms. There is a spacious master suite and a lower level that features a media room, bar, and exercise room. The backyard is surrounded by woods. The home is 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms in 6,433 square feet and listed at $995,000.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

by -
 Photo by Matthieu A / License

Mind sports are based on intellectual ability rather than physical ability. Unlike physical sports, mind sports do not require the physical strength, agility or hand-eye coordination that traditional sports require. They do, however, demand strategy, skill and practice. 

While some mind sports enthusiasts prefer silence over sound, others have found that certain types of music enhance (rather than breaks) their focus. In fact, silence can be very distracting for some. That is why you may have heard people say the words, “It’s too quiet in here.”

Besides serving as a source of personal enjoyment, some say music has positive scientific effects on the brain. The “Mozart Effect” is a term that was coined to describe classical music having the ability to enhance one’s intelligence. Some research also suggests that listening to music while studying helps people better retain information.

If you have never tried listening to music while doing a focus-oriented activity, such as mind sports, it may be time to give it a shot.

Deciding on the type of music you should listen to while engaging in mind sports largely depends on which one you are playing. Here are some tips for building the perfect playlist tailored to your game of choice. 

Photo by / License

Chess: Take a strategic musical approach

Brainwave Power Music created a special Chess playlist on YouTube, filled with binaural beats. Binaural beats are a form of music therapy. They are said to induce positive neurological side effects – including relaxation, meditation, pain management and, apparently, chess-playing abilities.

The science behind binaural beats centers around sound wave frequencies. BPM’s playlist features tracks with beta waves ranging from 11-15Hz, which is said to improve focus, attentive abilities, active thought processes, concentration and intelligence. Simultaneously, BPM goes on to say that the carrier frequency of 144.72 Hz supports strength of will, focused energy and achievement. 

Some musicians to check out for binaural beats are Noah Hornberger, I-Doser Labs and Brainwave-Sync.

Poker: Easy does it

Like Chess, Poker is an intellectually challenging sport that requires constant strategic thinking. The stakes can be high when you are playing this classic competitive card game and the atmosphere can be a factor in your performance. Choosing the right music to create an ambiance that stimulates your brain will help make you more likely to play your cards right. 

Calming, slow-paced instrumental music is popular among Poker players. Because words can compete for your focus, choosing purely instrumental options is a good strategy if you are easily side-tracked. Classical and jazz are ideal genres.

If you prefer music with words, choosing songs with lyrics that are not in your native language may be a good choice. You will still enjoy the vernacular, but will not be able to make out discernible words and thoughts. For English-speaking players, the French Cafe Radio station on Pandora is one to check out, as it has easy-listening music au français. 

eSports: Spotify can help

The ideal musical genre for playing eSports is as diverse as the types of games that exist. So, if you are playing a game centered around warfare, something that matches that energy (such as heavy metal) could be your best bet. Upbeat electronic dance music (EDM) can also give you an energetic jolt while putting you in the zone – or a focused head space. 

When playing something less extreme, such as golf, you probably will not gravitate toward tracks that sound like DJ club music. Something more low-key would better suit the situation.

If you need help deciding which gaming music will work best for you, Spotify can help. The music platform incorporated a gaming category that can be accessed by navigating to Browse > Genres and Moods > Gaming. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for mixing tunes and mind sports. A trial and error factor definitely exists, so determining which genre will work best for you may require some experimentation. Use these suggestions as a helpful place to start. 

by -

It's modern, chic and completely upgraded, but secluded, cozy and dream-home-worthy. Keep reading as we take you inside this week's Listing of the Week!

This stunning 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom California-contemporary home underwent a top-to-bottom remodel in 2017. It has a private/wooden Grandin Gold Coast location. The walls of glass bring the outdoors in. The kitchen is everyone homeowners dream and every room is the home is just as beautiful as the last. 

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

by -
Women now own and run almost  13 million businesses in the US. As well as becoming successful sole proprietors, many have grown their business and are now also responsible for supporting over 9 million jobs. Ohio features in the top ten of best states for women to  set up a successful business, and it is becoming easier to create a startup or launch a new enterprise. However, as your company prospers, you will be looking beyond simply sustaining the initial success and will, in addition, be thinking about taking on new staff and moving to larger premises. This can take time and effort but the rewards are well worth it. 
Investing in Employees
As your business becomes more successful, there will come a time when you need to start sharing the workload.  Taking on staff is a major responsibility, and it is estimated that hiring an employee can require up to £4,000 in recruitment and training costs. Of course, by taking the time to properly prepare and integrate suitable new staff to your business, these costs will be recovered through increased revenue. Another added responsibility that must not be overlooked is  workers comp insurance. As well as giving you and your employees peace of mind, like any business insurance, this could save you money in the long run.
Making Room for Success
Finding premises for your expanding business can be daunting. If you’ve been working alone at home and don’t feel that you are ready to take on the responsibility of your own office, start by  sharing a co-working space where you can network, meet potential new employees, and continue to grow your business until you are ready to move. The eventual location of your new premises will depend not only on your budget but the nature of your business. A  prominent and credible address with parking nearby is preferable if you expect clients to visit you at your office. If the premises are just for the use of your employees, you will still need to ensure that the location is convenient and safe for them, and will not be off putting for potential new recruits in the future. 
After the initial excitement of setting up a successful new business, ensuring that it is not only sustainable but ready for expansion takes time and effort. However by being prepared to take on extra responsibilities and invest in well-trained staff and premises suited to your needs, you will soon reap the rewards of a flourishing business. 

by -

You don't want to miss the breathtaking gardens of this suburban Cincinnati home on a sprawling estate!

Affectionately known as The Manor House, this palatial country estate was custom-designed by the owner alongside Steinkamp Architects. The home is situated in a green belt community, and is spacious and well-appointed. It boasts gathering spaces, fireplaces, porches, and an octagonal study with views of gardens that have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine!

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.


by -

Need design, home improvement, or party hosting ideas? Cincy Home Chic Home has it all! Click to check out this month's recap!

Here’s a recap of what you can find on our new site, Cincy Home Chic Home, this month!:

Decor Ideas: 
Mirrored Cabinets 
Timeless with a Touch of Pink
Contrasting Elements
Word Art

Real Estate Tips:
Why Does It Take So Long to Build a Home?

Listing of the Week: 
9827 Kensington Lane
422 Stanley


by -

We're giving you majestic views of the river, city, and park in this week's Listing of the Week!

This beautiful home features stunning panoramic river, city, and park views. There is an exceptional grand rooftop terrace in the Platinum LEED residence, which is perfect for small or large group entertaining. The home is supremely appointed with fine luxury craftsmanship and details. Features 6,000 square feet, an elevator, 3-car garage, 2-off street spaces. The home is low maintenance living and amazing. The 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom home is priced at $2.69 million.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.