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Authors Posts by Amy Scalia

Amy Scalia

Amy Scalia
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Publisher & CEO - Amy Scalia, a Cincinnati native, is the editor in chief and publisher of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at ascalia@cincychic.com. 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.

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    We chat with the owner of a new local wine and canvas studio to learn more about this party-with-a-paint-brush phenomenon and what makes Party With Art Studio unique. Keep reading to catch all the creative details about this new art studio that’s fun for the whole family.

    Party With Art Studio offers fun for the whole family, from girls night out to children's birthday parties.
    Party With Art Studio offers fun for the whole family, from girls night out to children’s birthday parties.

    Wine and canvas businesses and events are popping up quicker than you can pop a cork. And why not? You gather a group of friends, head out to an art studio (or even your own home), drink wine and paint a picture that you’ll hang to remember your fun night together.

    When it came to creating these wine and canvas events, Tina Wright, founder and owner of Party With Art Studio, says that she wanted to take her love of painting and crafting and combine it with throwing parties. “I love to paint and craft, and I also love to throw parties, hence Party With Art Studio,” explains Wright.

    Aside from the traditional wine and canvas parties, Wright says her studio caters to family and children’s parties and even offers theme parties. “We offer the unique opportunity to host separate children’s parties while the adults are having their own party,” she explains.

    Although primarily a wine and canvas event, Wright says that her studio will soon be adding Wine and Mosaics while continuing to expand on the Party With Art concept. Helping Wright with the expansion of her business is what she says is a fine staff of talented, local artists.

    What makes Wright’s studio unique is that she provides a food and gift table as well as a kitchen food prep station, so when you’re having your next party-whether it’s a birthday celebration or just a friendly gathering-there’s plenty of space for you to place you food.

    Fully-decorated parties are available for birthdays, bachelorette parties, sports teams, anniversary parties and more. If you name it, Wright says they can most likely help you get set up for a celebration

    Also at Paint With Art Studio are public and private classes. You can choose your own painting for the private classes or make requests at least one week prior to the party.

    “It’s a fun event to share with friends and family, and to meet new people,” says Wright. “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet! You can create something beautiful for your home or a gift for someone else everyone loves to receive a handcrafted gift.”

    And for those of you worried about your artistic capabilities, Wright says there’s no experience necessary to participate in public or private paint and crafting parties, which can be scheduled for adults, families and children.

    “We guide you through the process every step of the way and offer outlines of each painting upon request, simplifying the process and making it almost like a paint by number,” she adds.

    A two-hour class costs $27.99 per person and $39.00 for a three-hour class. Prices are lowered for parties that have at least 14 people. “The larger the party, the more you save and some of the guests will get to craft for free,” says Wright.

    If you’re going for an adult-only party, those who are of the drinking age are welcome to bring wine, beer or pouch drinks and food to each class or private parties.

    Party-goers who want a theme will be accommodated at Party With Art Studio. “Dream it up,” says Wright, “and we will make it happen.” She says that theme parties are a popular idea for girls night out.

    Wright says the first ad campaign for Party With Art Studio ran on July 1, making it a brand-spanking-new business. The studio is located near Mercy South Hospital in Fairfield, making it conveniently located to several Cincinnati neighborhoods and nearby communities including Springdale, Green Hills, Forest Park, Pleasant Run Farms, Lindenwald and Hamilton.

    At the end of the night, after her parties have long gone, Wright says that her favorite part about running Party With Art Studio is seeing how happy people are when they’re in creative mode and sharing their happiness amongst family and friends.

    In addition to adding wine and mosaics, Wright says Party With Art Studio will offer glass and ceramic painting parties as well.

    To learn more about Party With Art Studio, click here. You can also call 513-413-2819 for more information.

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    Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter as she reflects on her first birthday, and the second “birth” she wasn’t expecting.

    Our Editor in Chic shares what she's learned in the first year of motherhood.
    Our Editor in Chic with her daughter, Lola, the first day after family went home.

    One year. Tomorrow marks one year since your beautiful, happy, bright light entered this world.

    I remember this day last year. It was filled with so much worry and so many unknowns. Would you be healthy? Would I be a good mom? Would I be able to balance everything ok?

    You were fashionably late, so we enjoyed the convenience of a scheduled induction, which was nice (thanks!). The family didn’t have to rush into town. They got there the night before, we had a nice dinner together, and then got up super early to head to the hospital.

    Although that part wasn’t stressful and I had our family surrounding me, I was absolutely terrified of labor. Especially when being induced — it wasn’t my body’s natural timing to have you, science was getting involved. Was that ok?

    Oh, and the labor pains you always hear about. “The worst pain you’ll ever feel.” Would I be ok?

    I just kept thinking, get through the birth and things will get back to normal. At least, that’s what I thought.

    But eventually, after your daddy and I headed home with you from the hospital, and our family all went their separate ways, there we were. Alone. Brand new parents. Brand new baby. Brand new life. Brand new normal.

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    Everything all the sudden seemed new, different, and foreign. I was re-learning my life, my work-from-home-mom schedule, my breast-feeding body, my everything as I knew it.

    From that point forward, you became my number one priority. This was very different for someone who quite frequently put myself first. I remember feeling guilty the first time I took a long shower. The first time I exercised. The first day I went back to work. It was like I was borrowing myself from you.

    Over the past year, I’ve watched you become more independent. With every step, sippy cup, and word-like sound — you need me a little less and you’re becoming your own little person. Yes, your increasing independence means I need to “borrow” myself from you a little less each day. But now, it feels less like borrowing and more like I’m becoming someone new.

    I think back to the person I was 365 days ago, and it’s a very different person from who I am today. Because I didn’t just give birth to you. Over the past year, I also gave birth to the new me: the mother. I learned how to push out that selfishness to make way for great sacrifice. Great love. A love deeper and more whole than I’ve ever known.

    So, when we blow out the candles at your first birthday party this weekend, and you dive into your cake face first, I’ll also celebrate the mom I became a year ago. Because I’m raising her, just as I am raising you.

    It’s not perfect. There is no manual. We’re both still a little wobbly. We’ve each taken a few tumbles. But even so, I’m proud that we always get back up and keep taking more steps toward the exciting new people we’re becoming.

    Happy birthday, baby girl. (You too, mom)

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    A local catering service is making waves at events large and small, corporate and residential, casual and refined. Read on for all the delicious details!

    currentcatering
    Current Catering by Bensons
    . It might be a new name on the local catering scene, but they certainly aren’t beginners.

    Bensons Catering was founded by the Bernstein Family in 1981. Over the decades, Bensons was selected to cater in some of Tri-State’s most prestigious homes and venues, such as the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, Music Hall, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and The Western & Southern Open.

    But after three generations in the business, it was time for Benson’s Catering to get current — quite literally. “Current Catering by Bensons is a new and updated version of Benson’s Catering,” says Current Catering owner Terri Bernstein. “The third generation of the Bernstein family has now taken over the daily operations.”122214SOCIAL

    While Benson’s Catering saw much success, Bernstein says that they wanted to take those 33 years of experience and incorporate the fresh, new ideas of today. According to Bernstein, the business plan for Current Catering by Bensons was finalized in March 2014 and implementation of that plan got off the ground in October 2014.

    From corporate dinners and business boxed lunches to weddings and galas, or even family picnics and household holiday parties, this full-service catering business offers services to a variety of customers. “We do many small house parties all the way up to the Great American Insurance Christmas Party every year for 7,000 people,” says Bernstein, adding that they’re always looking to expand. “We have a whole team out and about looking for new ideas and business.”

    According to Bernstein, the team at Current Catering by Bensons will design a menu to fit nearly any taste, occasion or price point. Breakfast starts at $8 per plate, lunch starts at $10 per plate and a dinner menu is created starting at $14.95 per plate. And if you want to pair with your food with beverage service, Current Catering by Bensons also holds a Kentucky catering liquor license!

    Each year, Bernstein says Current Catering by Bensons, as well as their other family owned business BB Riverboats, always gives back to the community that supports them. In fact, she adds, when they consider the donations they provide, they’re giving tens of thousands of dollars to many local organizations.

    To learn more about Current Catering by Bensons, visit www.current-catering.com or send an email to info@current-catering.com. You can also check them out on Facebook.

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    Learn about the upcoming event where you can either donate $8 or 8” to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a wig-making program helping those in need.

    Pantene Beautiful Length's 8or8 event on August 3 will benefit
    Pantene Beautiful Length’s 8or8 event on August 3 will help create free real-hair wigs for women with cancer.

    8or8. That’s the new theme of this year’s Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. It’s easy – just donate either $8 or 8” of your hair for the event coming up on Monday, August 3. The hair and monetary donations will be used to help create free real-hair wigs for women with cancer.

    According to Roth Brauntz, communications manager for the Procter & Gamble brand, there are other new developments this year, too. For example, a non-profit fund has been created in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation in which 100% of monetary donations are used for wig-making.

    Another development this year, according to Brauntz, local Girl Scouts can now earn a Pantene Beautiful Lengths badge. “Girl Scouts of Western Ohio just announced a new partnership with Pantene Beautiful Lengths to educate girls about hair, cancer, and community action,” Brauntz says. “The goal of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Girl Scout Patch program is to teach girls about healthy hair, inspire them to take action in their community, and show how much a generous and selfless act, such as a hair donation, can mean to a person in need.” You can learn more about the new Badge here.

    Today, Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene® and the American Cancer Society®, the largest nonprofit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease.

    The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and to provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 34,000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks, which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country. To learn more about the wigs available in your area, please call the American Cancer Society’s Wig Bank Line at 1-877-227-1596.

    This year’s Pantene Beautiful Lengths 4th Annual Hair Donation Event will take place Monday, August 3rd, from 1-4pm at the Procter & Gamble Tower Gardens, located at 2 Procter & Gamble Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For the event, you can choose to donate $8 or 8” (use the hashtag #8or8 when posting on social media). After the ceremonial cut, hair donors will be treated to finished cuts and styling by local hair professionals. Fill out this form to apply: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PBL_2015

    For more information on Pantene Beautiful Lengths, visit: www.Pantene.com/beautifullengths.

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    Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about the time they’ve spent in front of the mirror lately. See how a toddler’s joy with her own reflection has important lessons for us as adults.

    072715LOLAI never realized how many mirrors we have in our house until you came along. Even when you were a newborn, your eyes would light up when you’d see yourself in the mirror.

    And now, as a toddler, who can stand on the bathroom counter and lean up against your reflection, you could spend hours (well, at least several minutes, but that’s like hours in toddler time) just staring, pointing at, and trying to lick/kiss that happy baby looking back at you in the mirror.

    So, needless to say, we’ve been spending a lot of time in front of mirrors lately. And when we do, my mind eventually drifts… “Don’t forget to call the salon and make an appointment – your roots are showing.” “Wear some extra concealer today – your dark circles look extra dark this morning” “Pick up one of those microderm brushes – your pores look clogged.”

    This morning, I sat you in front of the mirror, and my mind drifted as usual. Hair… pores… circles… BANG BANG BANG! All the sudden you were banging your hand on the mirror as if to get my attention, and then you cracked up just looking at yourself.

    That’s when it hit me. There you were, enjoying the absolute fascination and pure joy you have with your own reflection while I was picking apart the person looking back at me. And I’m not even a self-loathing, low self esteem type. I actually make a concerted effort to be a strong, confident female role model through the things I do and say around you. But my inner voice still drifts.

    It made me wonder if I was more like you when I was your age. I’m sure I was. At what point do we stop smiling at ourselves and being happy to see that reflection? Why do we think it’s narcissistic to actually like – to the point of wanting to kiss – what you see in the mirror? Who told us we need to start seeing the things we need to fix instead? Maybe no one in particular did. Maybe it didn’t happen overnight. But, eventually, it did happen.

    That’s when I decided I wanted to be more like you. Just be genuinely happy to have another day where I get to look in that mirror and smile back. And maybe, on a good day, I’ll kiss myself and crack up – your signature move. 🙂

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    Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about what she brought back from their recent beach vacation (that wasn’t covered in sand).

    Our Editor-in-Chic shares a letter to her daughter about their recent vacation to Myrtle Beach, her first as a parent.
    Our Editor-in-Chic’s daughter, Lola, as she sees the ocean for the first time

    I’ve been going to Myrtle Beach for the past two decades with my parents, and this was my first year going AS a parent.

    It was an out-of-body experience to show you the ocean that I remember as a little girl asking “Are we there yet?” a million times on the way… sticking my head out the window like a dog to smell the sea air once we got close… not even waiting to get in a swimsuit to run out and touch the ocean once we got there… and taking a bottle of sand and shells home when we had to leave so I could look at and feel the ocean until we went again the next year.

    There I was, holding you, showing you that very ocean, watching your eyes widen with amazement at the roaring waves and endless sandy beaches (which you soon tried to eat).

    It was different being there as a mommy. And I’m not talking about the 18 million extra bags of stuff you have to carry down to the beach to keep a toddler entertained, rested and shaded all day. It was different because you were experiencing something new. We were making such amazing memories together. And it was an entire week of uninterrupted family time.

    I’ve always appreciated my time on the beach a little more. Even as a teen, I’d get up unusually early (especially for a teen!) to run on the beach. The tide is too high and it gets too hot if you do it too late. Plus, I didn’t want to waste prime sunning hours! (ah, the days of not worrying about wrinkles!)

    This year, I still got up early to run, but I appreciated my time on the beach in a different way. Each day I would think “Oh, only x-amount of days left! We better make the most of it” I would do things like pack our lunches and extra drinks so we didn’t waste precious beach time going back up to the room. I’d pack a toy you hadn’t seen before just to see the surprise on your face, or plan somewhere new for us to go so we could make new memories. And when little things would pop up that I’d normally complain about or pick a fight over, I just let them slide because I didn’t want to sour the day. As a result, it was THE most relaxing, fun and genuinely enjoyable week we’ve had in YEARS!

    It got me thinking that I need to be in a “vacation state of mind” more often. Why not do little things to spend more time together? Why not proactively look for ways to make life more fun? Why complain when you know it’ll sour the day?

    So, even though we can’t always physically be on vacation, I’m going to make more of an effort to stay there mentally. Although I will miss seeing you try to eat the sand every day. That was pretty funny.

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    Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about a childhood song that holds an even deeper meaning for their family.

    062215LOLA

    “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey…”

    I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve sang that song to you in the past 10, almost 11, months. I’d be writing this from our million dollar beachfront mansion if that gives you any idea.

    It’s a song my mom always sang to me, but that’s not necessarily why I always sing it to you. I sing it because it’s true. You’ve been such a bright light of happiness for our family in our darkest hours, and you even manage to lighten up the ones that aren’t dark at all.

    You and daddy on his FIRST Father's Day!
    You and daddy on his FIRST Father’s Day!

    Just as an example, last week, when the family was over celebrating your daddy’s first Father’s Day, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone in the room was just watching you and smiling. The way you study each little toy, randomly point at people, shout out big happy noises, and then give your bashful little smile to someone. You have become the light of all of our lives.

    You did that before you even arrived. I found out I was pregnant with you right around the same time your daddy found out about needing all his surgeries. I just remember there being such an onslaught of bad news but I just kept thinking “It’s ok. We can handle it. I’m pregnant!”

    Knowing that your little life was there growing made us know that we would get through whatever came our way because now we had a greater purpose. We were creating a little life, our next generation, and we were going to get as healthy as possible to do that and enjoy it. You were the little light at the end of that dark tunnel.

    Then, when you did arrive, your daddy was going through a different set of surgeries and recovery. But he wanted to hold you and keep up with you, so he got stronger and more mobile so he could hold you, take care of you, and be an active part of your life. You were the sunshine that gave him the energy he needed to recover.

    Father’s Day was one of the first times that we have been able to enjoy a family get-together here at the house when your daddy wasn’t in a wheelchair, walker, or using a cane. I had a little moment where I realized this and just said a little mental thank you to you.

    Thank you for being the little flicker of light leading us through that dark tunnel. Our sunshine when skies were grey. And now, the absolute light of our lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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