Our Editor in Chic writes a letter to her daughter about scars, and the decision to see them as blemishes or beautiful reminders.
When I was little, I fell off a swing and cut my leg. When bandaging me up, the nurse told me to be more careful because boys don’t like girls with scarred up legs.
That stuck with me, unfortunately. The once rough-and-tumble girl who hadn’t thought twice about bumps, bruises or cuts in the past was a lot more cautious, worried that her destiny with Prince Charming was now left in the lurch.
Turns out, I did find my Prince Charming in your daddy, and after 10 years, he still doesn’t care about that scar (or any of the other ones). I’ve actually been thinking a lot about what that nurse said lately, and how wrong she really was.
After the past three years, with your daddy’s double hip and double knee surgeries, he now has a lot of scars on his legs. At first he didn’t like them because they made him think about his missing “original parts.” But now, after everything has healed and he’s feeling MUCH better, we look at those scars to remind us of how far we’ve come.
See, the weird thing about the painful stuff in life is that your mind wants to wash it all away like the ocean. With each tide that comes in, the ruts in the sand fill in over time. But when you have a scar, it’s a physical reminder of what happened. It never goes back exactly how it was.
Your daddy and I both feel very thankful that he was able to have the surgeries, find a new drug therapy that works for him, and have great doctors by his side to get him through it. But the scars remind us of what our family went through – hoped/prayed/fought for – to get us to this much better place in life.
You’re very curious right now. The other day, you pointed at the scars on your daddy’s knees and asked “What’s that?” and I loved his response. He told you that’s where he got sick and the doctors sewed him back up to make him stronger.
And it hit me. That’s where the nurse was wrong. Scars don’t make you unattractive. Scars aren’t something to be ashamed of. Scars are reminders. Beautiful, permanent reminders that you’re stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. The playground wasn’t avoided in fear of bumps and bruises. You showed up. You played. Yes, you got hurt, but you also healed. And you’re forever changed because of it.
My friend Emily owns Miss Em’s, an awesome accessories shop that specializes in trendy yet affordable pieces (click here to read the story we did about her recently). She does home parties, craft shows, etc. (like Stella and Dot, but at a fraction of the price) and you can also go online to buy her items. But once a year she hosts an annual Holiday Shopping-themed Open House every year where you can shop in person! This year’s event is on Nov. 1 at the Anderson Senior Center (7970 Beechmont Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45255). Click here to get all the event details!
Whenever I wear any of my Miss Em’s pieces, people are always asking me where I got it, or if it’s such-and-such designer… and they’re always surprised when I tell them where I actually got it and for how much. So, just to give you an example of what I’m talking about, I pulled a few things that I’m loving on Miss Em’s site right now, and then found identical designer/department store look-alikes for hundreds more. Hundreds. Thank me later… maybe at the Open House because I’ll definitely be there!
We visit Heritage Village Museum in Sharonville to learn more about the 19th century historical village and their fun-for-the-whole-family events coming up this fall!
At Heritage Village Museum, a living history museum located in Sharon Woods, you’ll experience the rural simplicity of a small town life as it was in Ohio during the 1800s. Volunteers and staff provide guided tours, supervise gift and book shop, coordinate special events, demonstrate traditional crafts and cooking and present educational programs for over 15,000 guests each year.
The Heritage Village Museum is open for exhibits, guided tours and self-guided tours throughout the week and weekend (click here for hours and pricing). They also host several special events throughout the year, especially in fall. This year, they’re hosting the “Echoes of the 1800s: Ohio’s Untold History,” the evenings of Oct. 2 and 3. It’s an interactive walking theatre experience that will take you through the historic Heritage Village Museum on a lantern-lit journey into Cincinnati’s shady past, including encounters with rogues, reformers and snake oil sellers.
Then, on the last three weekends in October from 6-10pm, the Heritage Village Museum will host a Haunted Village event. This family-friendly, slight fright event will be loaded with ghostly attractions. Visitors can take a wagon ride, or take a stroll into the haunted cemetery…if you dare. The mad scientist, ghouls, and witches will entertain guests throughout the night. Everyone is encouraged to dress in their Halloween costumes and children can Trick or Treat throughout the Village. Face painting, balloon animal making and games will entertain children of all ages.
To learn more about the Heritage Village Museum and its upcoming events, visit http://www.heritagevillagecincinnati.org.
Our Editor in Chic writes a letter to her daughter about their dog they said goodbye to over the weekend, and the footprints he forever left in their hearts.
You might not remember Dino, but he was our first child. With us before we got married, since we bought our first house, and there when we brought you home from the hospital. He loves giving you big, wet kisses. You love laughing at him as he races up and down the hall chasing a ball. He’s your personal garbage disposal, looking forward to every little morsel that drops from your high chair.
He has been our funny, spirited and loving companion for eight years now. He is and always will be an integral part of our family, but yesterday we had to send him away to a place where he’ll live out the rest of his days.
Over the past few years, Dino has developed severe anxiety. And as a result, he has bitten quite a few people — me and your daddy (multiple times) included. Ninety-nine percent of the time, he is the most loving, “velcro dog” there is. But there’s that unexpected and unpredictable one percent of time where his “fight or flight” reflexes kick in and he lashes out.
We’ve tried everything — vets, behaviorists, trainers, week-long camps, special collars, sprays and a variety of different medications — to cure his anxiety and stop the biting. Nothing worked. Eventually, we ran out of options to try, and we simply couldn’t risk anyone else getting injured.
So, your daddy and I had to make a difficult decision this weekend to send him back to his first home. Thankfully, the breeder we got him from said she would gladly take him in. Not only does she still have his mother and one of his siblings, but she lives in Riverside California, so they go to the beach and on hikes often. The breeder is also a vet tech with ample access to healthcare resources for Dino.
It’s comforting to know he’s going to a familiar, healthy and happy home. But that doesn’t make our hearts ache any less. He’s our precious little boy. We love him so very much.
The perfectionist in me hates that I couldn’t fix him. The realist in me knows we tried absolutely everything. The mom in me knows it’s what we had to do. The dog lover in me knows he’ll be happy in his new home.
But sometimes the best decisions are the most difficult. You just have to be thankful you had something that made saying goodbye so painful.
So, thank you, Dino. Thank you for all the memories, furry cuddles, and wet kisses… You’ll always be our little boy. And he’ll always be your big brother.
Our life coach columnist talks about enduring - not avoiding - uncomfortable situations to build mental and physical strength.
I was working out at the gym recently when I spied a new piece of cardio equipment. I noticed a few people trying it out and I was curious as to what I might be missing. Finally, I worked my way over to check it out. On my way, I passed one of the employees and I inquired about the machine.
She informed me that she already had used the new equipment and had stayed on this “climbing apparatus” for 70 minutes. Well, if she could do it, so could I. As I journeyed toward the machine, I came across a few other people that had tried it out. They all reassured me that it was very hard. I got snapped in and quickly started climbing. Within seconds, I felt myself struggling to catch my breath — it took all my willpower to stay on for two whole minutes. When I got off the machine, I was shaking and gasping for air.
I made it through a whole two minutes of climbing. Now, what irritated me about this experience was that I consider myself to be in pretty good shape. I bike long distances every weekend and I have built up my endurance. Yet, I struggled to make it through two minutes!
I decided that I was capable of much more than that first try. Two days later, I got on the climber and told myself that I was not getting off until it hit five minutes. A couple of days after that, I told myself that I was going to make it 10, and so on, until last week, when I made it through 45 minutes on that evil machine.
Now, how did that happen?
Along the way, people would come over to assess my progress. I would listen to their multitude of rationalizations as to why they shouldn’t and wouldn’t work out on this particular piece of equipment. In other words, they had excuses to not take action.
There’s a reason that I’m sharing this story and it’s not to impress everyone with my physical prowess. I don’t think that this experience is much different than anything you attempt to take on in life. The first time you try something new can be quite difficult and to be honest, failing miserably is not a good feeling. I’m betting that you’re a lot like me and you like to feel confident and comfortable in what you attempt in life. However, the key to making it to the other side is being willing to walk through the bad feelings.
You see, the individuals that I witnessed trying it out and never going back could not get past that uncomfortable feeling. They were not able to wait it out for those good feelings that finally kick in when you make it to 45 minutes. They could not see past RIGHT NOW.
And there you have it. Whether it’s a potential career opportunity at work, a new diet that you need to adopt, or the thought of a career switch, the future can look quite unpredictable and downright uncomfortable. However, if you can just acknowledge the way you feel, WHY you feel the way you do, recognize the rationalizations for what they truly are (excuses), and STILL push through the uncomfortable feelings, you’re going to achieve your life goals.
You know experiencing new cultures and people from around the world can expand your family’s horizons, but packing up the family for a trip around the globe isn’t exactly feasible. That’s where gphomestay can help.
Gphomestay provides residential solutions for international students living in the United States. Our trained staff is committed to connecting ambitious international students with dedicated American host families who will provide accommodations that are not only safe, but enhance the students’ holistic American experience.
“At gphomestay, we know that meaningful cross-cultural relationships foster greater human understanding across our planet,” says Jodi Rubin, gphomestay Event Coordinator. “Our mission is to facilitate these impactful relationships by matching eager international students with warm, welcoming American host families.”
Gphomestay begins by identifying committed American families across the United States and matching them with international students attending a local school. Once they have successfully matched students and hosts, gphomestay provides ongoing guidance, cultural resources and local support to ensure that all parties have the tools and communication pathways they need to succeed in in their American homestay and develop the deep and lasting relationships that improve our world.
“When you choose to join the gphomestay family, you open your window to the world,” Rubin explains.
Once you join the gphomestay family and are successfully paired with a student, their multilingual and multicultural support staff facilitates communication between your family and your student’s natural parents in order to introduce you to one another. This multilingual staff is available for translation services throughout your student’s stay in case an emergency arises. Next, you’ll participate in a brief training program to prepare for your student’s arrival.
Once your new family member arrives, you will receive an in-person check-in from your local gphomestay Residential Coordinator. This staff member will serve as the point-person for all of your basic questions and needs and will provide ongoing support to you and your family throughout the student’s stay. Moreover, the Residential Coordinator will conduct regular check-ins, via phone and in-person, as well as organize exciting events and activities for you and your international student.
Additionally, gphomestay supports all of its hosts by providing a monthly stipend to offset the additional costs incurred as a result of hosting a student.
“We are proud to have been approved as an educational services provider by The Council on Standards for International Travel (CSIET),” explains Rubin. “CSIET, an organization that establishes standards for international programs at the high school level, acknowledges gphomestay’s commitment to providing a safe and accommodating homestay.” In the Greater Cincinnati region, gphomestay is now a proud partner with Mother of Mercy High School, St. Xavier High School, and Notre Dame Academy.
To learn more, check out these Frequently Asked Questions, give gphomestay a call at 781-996-0429, and watch the video above!
Cincy Chic is teaming up with a local videographer to launch a new Storyteller multimedia package. Click for all the details and to see example videos!
We’re teaming up with the talented videography team at True Artists Studio to launch an exciting new program here at Cincy Chic. It all started with some staggering stats we found… like 80% — that’s the percentage of Internet users who recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days, according to the Online Publishers Association. Of that 80%, 46% took action after viewing, such as:
That’s when we decided we had to start offering a package that includes beautiful and powerful HD-video production, shot on-site at your business. But it gets better — because we’re an online publication with a built in audience of 25,000 subscribers, we’re not just giving you a great video, we’re also giving it an audience because the package also includes: 400-600 word story, video embedded, about your business run with premium placement in a Cincy Chic issue selected by client; posted on Cincy Chic’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter channels (18,000+ fans); and a posting, video embedded, on Amy Scalia’s blogs. It also includes an issue sponsorship of ads the week of your run date, rights to the video, and a copy of the video file without the Cincy Chic intro/outro for your use outside of Cincy Chic channels (great for embedding on your site, expos, social media campaigns, etc)
Typically, something like this would cost thousands to produce, let alone also promote it for you. But, with us, it’s only $1,500! Below are a few examples of Storyteller videos we recently produced for clients. Hopefully YOUR story will be the next one we tell through this exclusive Storyteller package! Please email email@example.com if you have any questions, and for more video marketing stats, click here.