The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
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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Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about how they're celebrating instead of quitting. Keep reading to find out why.

36dbff0dfc13c01682d9a80790f23934Today is a big day. After having double knee replacements 10 weeks ago, your daddy returned to work today.

Watching him walk down the hall this morning — standing tall, hair slicked back and dressed to the nines in a dapper suit — my heart swelled with pride. Just a few months ago, that same man walked (if you could call it that) wincing in pain with each step, after hours (yes, hours) of he and I both working to get him ready for the day.

He’s. Come. So. Far.

The difference was drastic this morning since it was his first day back, and I can easily contrast it with that arduous last day 10 weeks ago. But it was the in between that was difficult. It was difficult because Pete had to work SO hard, and so consistently, for the slow and steady progress.

We live in an instant gratification world where anything you want is at your fingertips. So quickly. So easily. Satisfaction guaranteed. But some things in life (especially recovery) aren’t like that.

There are mornings where moving is the last thing you want to do, but you have to because scar tissue will form — forever limiting your use. Then, when you do move, you can only bend a couple degrees (if any) more than the last time they checked, and it feels like a whole lotta work for nothing. Haven’t I been through enough? Haven’t I hurt enough? Haven’t I worked hard enough? 

The answer is no. There have been million times where Pete and I both wanted to say “ENOUGH ALREADY!” when it comes to battling this horrible RA. Then we realized — It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.

We want to be fun, active parents. We want to show you the world together. And this recovery — albeit painfully slow — is the only way to get there.

So we’ve been celebrating the small victories, like being able to bend his knees two degrees more than yesterday… being able to shower again…. going out to eat as a family again… walking without a cane or crutches… and today, going to work again. These are all simple things most people take for granted every day, but they’re big accomplishments for Pete.

That’s because these small victories represent progress. Small steps toward where we want to be eventually. This isn’t where we want to be — but we’re closer to it than yesterday. This isn’t instant. This isn’t easy. Satisfaction isn’t guaranteed. But it’s worth it. And that’s why we won’t quit.

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Wondering if Spring will ever arrive? Here are three signs that it’s just around the corner in Southeast Indiana!

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Wondering if Spring will ever arrive? Here are three signs that it’s just around the corner in Southeast Indiana!

Looking for a unique shopping experience to kick off Spring? the Over the Moon Designers Market is returning to Southeast Indiana this month for a two-day show March 27-28 at the Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds. The Over the Moon marketplace features a wide variety of unique vendors offering vintage and urban goods, industrial and architectural salvage, shabby chic, rusty décor items, artisan jewelry, and even bohemian-style clothing. Admission is free and food will also be available.

Dearborn County Home Builders Home & Garden Show always signals the arrival of Spring. This year’s show is March 20th through the 22nd at the new Lawrenceburg Event Center in downtown Lawrenceburg. The event showcases many great ideas and the businesses to help you spruce up your home and garden for spring.

Enjoy some personal rejuvenation and relaxation at the new Levee Bar & Grill located adjacent to Lawrenceburg’s new DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. The Levee Bar & Grill is a restaurant and full-service bar serving American favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seating is available indoors or on the outdoor riverfront patio overlooking the Ohio River.

Join us in Dearborn County/Southeast Indiana and celebrate the arrival of Spring! Click here to learn more or watch the exclusive webcast below!

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d49372109464bdebdb29e0075f7de065It’s only fitting that I planned to write this letter about Balance two weeks ago, but life got too crazy and I never found the time.

I wanted to write about it because my friend and fellow business owner (and “Amy” club member) Amy Kirchen just announced that she was going to close her boutique to focus on being a mom while her daughters were still little. She’s a tenacious, talented, hard-working woman. But she’s also a mom of two. She figured she can always re-open later, but she can never re-open these years with her girls.

I can’t imagine how difficult it was to make that decision, but now as a working mom, I understand why I would CONSTANTLY see articles about “work-life balance” in all my women’s magazines. That’s the thing though. We talk about balance as if there’s some formula, trick or method to navigate our way to this enigmatic place.

I just read an article where Ivanka Trump was interviewed about being a working mom, and it stuck with me because it’s so true. She said “People obsess too much about balance. A scale is only in balance for a brief second. Inevitably the pendulum swings. It’s impossible to maintain. Rather than obsess over perfect balance, I like to focus on my priorities.”

That’s how you have to think about balance. It’s a constant give and take. Letting go and holding on. Imagine balance as that ever-fluctuating scale rather than a destination.

Now, I say this taking my own advice as a work in progress. I’ve always been a “yes” person, always taking on more responsibilities than I should, and getting MUCH less sleep than I needed. But I want you to have the best of me not the rest of me. So, I’m working on my balancing act, or should I say my prioritizing act.

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Want to get healthy, travel, train for a race, and help out a good cause in the process? Learn about the CCFA’s Team Challenge and its upcoming events!

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Team Challenge is an endurance training and fundraising program unlike any other. It’s a unique opportunity to change your life and the lives of others. Through the customized training program, you will have forged new friendships and accomplished things you never thought possible. No matter what your fitness level, you will train for a rewarding and exciting endurance event at one of our great destination races while raising vital funds to help find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Team Challenge organizes several destination events each year to fun spots such as California Wine Country, Portland, Maine, Dublin, Ireland and the Las Vegas Strip. When you join the Team, not only will you receive a comprehensive program to help you achieve your fitness goals, but you will become part of the Team Challenge family. As a Team, they challenge team members, change lives and fundraise for cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – two painful, debilitating, and seldom-discussed digestive diseases. With Team Challenge, you become part of the solution!

Why join Team Challenge? Here’s what Team Challenge offers you:

  • Guaranteed race entry
  • 16 week training plan
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Professional fundraising support, including your own personal fundraising website
  • Full-time staff support
  • Team Challenge inspirational pasta party
  • Team Challenge race singlet and branded apparel
  • Race day transportation

Through Team Challenge, you can run or walk 13.1 miles or train for a triathlon or cycling event while helping to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans. The CCFA sponsors basic and clinical research of the highest quality. They also offer a wide range of educational programs for patients and health care professionals, while providing support services to help people cope with these chronic intestinal diseases. CCFA has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for three consecutive years and also has the highest rating from the Better Business Bureau. In fact, they are closer than ever to finding cures. Click here to learn more about CCFA’s genetics initiative.

Take the challenge, and commit to help cure Crohn’s and colitis! Visit www.ccteamchallenge.org/southwestohio call (513) 772-3550, email Tosborne@ccfa.org or watch the exclusive webcast below to learn more!

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Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about the lessons that running - and not running - has taught her through the years.

Our Editor-in-Chic shares life lessons  for her daughter.

It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true: “If running is difficult, run more.”

You know, that thing that makes your legs scream for mercy, pores spew sweat, and lungs strain for air? Yeah, do more of that.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, the thing is, the more you run, the better you get at it. It feels difficult at first – if not impossible – but the more you do it, the easier it becomes, and the more you can accomplish.

I’ve been running since I was really young. We lived in the country and it was a way for me to explore. Not only my surroundings, but also my capabilities. I was always so proud to come home and tell my parents how far I went on a run.

I eventually ran track and cross country through middle and high school. Then in college, I ran my first marathon. It was somewhat of an accident how it happened though, and it wasn’t pretty, but I did it.

It all started when three friends and I decided to run a marathon relay. The race was broken up into four parts where each runner did about six miles each, and I was assigned to the first leg of the race.

I trained a little harder for it than I should have because I didn’t want to run too slow and disappoint my teammates. So, come race day, I was interested to see how far I could run. I decided I’d just keep running until I couldn’t run any more and then I’d walk the rest of the course.

BANG! The race began, adrenaline was high, and I focused on running those first six miles hard for my teammates! Before I knew it, my six miles were up and I had tagged my friend to start her leg. I kept running as planned and figured it wouldn’t be long before I puttered out. All the sudden, I was passing mile marker 13 and was already halfway through the marathon!

I couldn’t believe I had just run a half marathon. At this point, I was definitely feeling the pain, but I figured if I had run half, I could run the other half (made sense at the time). At mile marker 20, with six miles left in the course, I was feeling really rough, but I told myself this was the final leg and I was on the home stretch.

Four and a half hours after starting what began as just a six mile race, I was beginning mile 26. My body felt like it was stuck in quick sand and everything hurt, but everyone was cheering for the runners and I couldn’t stop on the last mile! I remember being in tears – happy, so incredibly proud of me tears – as I crossed the finish line, frantically looking for a place to collapse and rest.

And rest I did. I couldn’t walk for the next few days, I lost both of my big toe nails, and endured lots of other unmentionables. But I couldn’t have been happier.

I ran two more marathons (actually training for them) and lots of other 5Ks and 15Ks in the years that followed. I liked the structure that training gave me; it gave me a goal to work toward, rather than just working out.

It became less of a workout and more of a hobby. Just something I always did. A big part of my life. It was the one thing I could do at the end of the day to truly wind down; the one thing that would get my blood pumping in the morning; the one thing that would make me close my laptop and take a mental break from everything for a while.

When we began infertility treatments, my doctor told me to stop any strenuous activity and relax. He didn’t have to tell me twice. I completely stopped running that day, and for the past two years, I didn’t do anything more than a brisk walk. Even that was on a rare day because I was scared of a high heart rate jeopardizing my treatment results or the pregnancy once I did get pregnant.

About a month after you were born, I remember trying to run down our driveway to get the mail because it was raining, and I was completely shocked with how bizarre it felt. Not only was I winded by the time I reached the end of our drive, but I felt like someone had rearranged all the muscles in my body and it just didn’t work the same any more. Something that had become so second nature to me was now so foreign and unpleasant.

I wondered if I’d ever be able to run again. It was such a big part of my life before, and it made me sad to see it slipping away. So, I decided to do something about it. I got a workout DVD and had to start on Level 1 doing the modified versions. I was mortified that I – a former marathon runner – was that weak, but I knew I had to start somewhere. Eventually, I was able to do Level 1 without the modifications, and move up to Level 2, then 3.

We joined a gym a couple months ago, and I started walking an incline with a short run at the end. I did five minutes at first, and eventually got up to doing a 10 minute run at the end of a walk. Then yesterday happened.

It was a gorgeous, blue sky, crisp air, Spring-like day. As I sipped my coffee looking out the window, I thought “Today would be a great day for a run.” It’s a thought I’ve had often over the past two years, but always put it back on the shelf because I wasn’t allowed to run. But yesterday I didn’t shelve it. I decided to do what I did many years ago and just run. See how far I could go. Surprise myself.

So, I put on my running shoes and headed out that door figuring I’d get winded after a few minutes. But I didn’t. I passed the spot where I usually walked to. Then, I passed the spot I had gone on my longest walk to last year. I saw a road in the distance and thought “See if you can go that far.” And then I did. I couldn’t believe it.

Once I reached my goal destination, I turned around and headed home, unsure if I’d be able to continue running the whole way back. But I figured I’d try – I had run the first half, why not the second, right? After running non-stop the entire time, going about three miles total, I ran down our driveway cheering “I did it! I did it! I did it!” All the way into the house – I couldn’t wait to tell Pete.

He’s been “running” is own race lately – making similar progress – in his battle with RA, and all his arthritis-related surgeries. While recovery hurts, he just keeps at it, and it hurts a little less the next time because he’s stronger. He’s now able to do things he hasn’t been able to do in months, and he’s slowly but surely getting his mobility back.

So, keep that in mind, no matter what your race is, or where you’re headed: “If running is difficult, run more.” You might just surprise yourself.

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We chat with the wedding videographers who turned their passion for storytelling into a profession. Read on to see wedding videography like you’ve never seen it before.

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Shane Pergrem, Executive Producer and owner of True Artists Studio

If you ask Shane Pergrem what he does for a living, he’d say “I’m a Storyteller.” That’s because, even though he owns a video production business that specializes in wedding videography, he considers himself a Storyteller above all.

“We’re artists telling a story through the medium of film,” says Pergrem, Executive Producer and owner of True Artists Studio. “Video is powerful. Stories are powerful. The two together, it’s True Art.”

Pergrem says he loves wedding videography the most because it’s an opportunity to capture the couple’s love story on film through their special day.

“We aren’t your typical, traditional videographer. We’re a fly on the wall, the quiet bystander, showing a slice of life – on one of the most special days of your life,” Pergrem says. “And once you watch our finished product, you’ll see wedding videography in a whole new way.”

Pergrem started out in 2006 as a division of Michael Bambino Studios, shooting strictly with Bambino photographers. After much success and growth, he decided to branch out and start shooting a weddings with a few other photography companies. “We then realized that it was time to make the filmmaking department its own Cincinnati video production company,” Pergrem recalls. “And thus, the birth of True Artists Studio.”

Today, they provide wedding videography in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. “But we also provide any video production services you might need, for corporations, non-profit organizations and community organizations,” Pergrem explains. “We can work on advertising, training videos, documentaries, and of course, wedding videos. Let our award winning team bring your special day, or your vision to life.”

Contact True Artists Studio at 859.305.1547, video@trueartistsstudio.com, or visit online at www.trueartistsstudio.com. Watch the webcast below to learn more.

This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by True Artists Studio

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Everyone said raising a child goes quickly. Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about how true that’s turning out to be and what she plans to do about it.

030915LOLAWhenever I sit down to write these letters to you, my first thought is always “I can’t wait until she reads this one day.” But I stopped myself this time.

As a new mom, I bought a sea of books before your big arrival, and drowned myself in information. I wanted to prepare in every way I could. So, now that you’re finally here, it’s like the pages are all coming to life before me. All your little developments are unfolding like the chapters of my books said they would.

I’ve found myself saying “I can’t wait” a lot these past few months. “I can’t wait until she can wear this…go here… do this… say that” …and the list goes on.

But the truth is I can – and should – wait. This is the one chance I get to raise you. This is the one time in my life where you’re completely dependent on me. These are the years I’ll have on repeat in my mind when you’re long moved out and living your life as an adult. Why be impatient and wish it all away?

I know I’m not technically wishing these moments away. But every time I say “I can’t wait” for something, I’m not just enjoying the moment. A part of my mind is already turning the page on the next chapter. I’m anticipating “what’s next,” instead of soaking up where you are right now, what you’re doing, and how special it is that I get to share it with you.

Today, during a feeding, you grabbed the bottle and held it yourself. I asked myself – with welled up eyes – was that the last bottle I’ll ever get to hold for you? I would have cherished the prior feeding had I known it would be my last. That’s when it hit me: I’ve been so caught up in the excitement of all your new developments that I failed to realize many of your “firsts” come with a “last” of something else. I never know when these delicate transitions are coming, either.

You can apply that to just about anything in life, though. You usually never know when you’ll have a first or a last, but you spend a lot of time anticipating them both. It prevents you from being able to cherish, soak in, and enjoy each moment as if it’s your last.

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. So, the next time you find yourself saying “I can’t wait,” softly whisper back with a “Yes, I can” and just enjoy.

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Want to get healthy and lose weight but struggling to fit it into your busy schedule? One local expert figured out a way to get Gym Rat results without ever leaving the house.

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Fitness was always a priority for Michelle Beckman. But when kids came along, she found it more and more difficult to fit in exercise and healthy eating into her busy schedule that now revolved around her child’s feedings, naps and activities.

She continued to gain weight and was at her heaviest when she met her husband, Brian, in 2002. Wedding dress shopping prompted her to finally decide she wanted to lose weight and get healthy. So, she immersed herself in learning about whole foods and proper nutrition.

“I started researching foods and how different ingredients affect our bodies,” she explains. “Slowly I started to cut out processed foods and certain ingredients.”

She says high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils were the first two to go. She then started eating more whole foods and less red meat. “I noticed my waist line shrinking and I started to drop weight,” she recalls. “However, after two pregnancies, lack of sleep, lack of energy and less time for exercise I found myself having difficulty getting my weight back down below 150.”

That’s when she found Beachbody. “My youngest had just turned two and I just couldn’t lose those last 15 pounds, even after running two half marathons,” she says. “So, I decided to try shakeology and I started the workout program ‘Insanity.’ I lost weight within the first week and knew I was on to something.”

She continued to follow the program and drink my shakes daily for 60 days. By January 2012, she had lost 9.5 inches total body, 8.5 pounds and 5% bodyfat. “And that was over the holidays,” she laughs. “Needless to say, I was ecstatic! I decided that I wanted to help others achieve their goals and most importantly to get healthy and fit.”

That’s when she began her journey as a Beachbody Coach. “I decided to become a Team Beachbody Coach because I found it empowering to share these products in able to help people reach their goals,” she explains. “People helping people – from all around the country – working towards one common goal: ‘Reversing The Trends of Obesity: One Relationship at a Time!’ That is what coaching is about and I love that!”

Beckman provides free support for all of the Beachbody fitness programs. In fact, to help her clients stay accountable, help answer questions, and create an online community of encouragement, Michelle creates private Facebook groups of clients who want a group setting – but virtual to fit in everyone’s schedules – to keep them committed and help them reach their goals.

“It’s perfect for busy moms who can’t leave the house for fitness classes, but need a group setting to keep them motivated, and a coach to keep them on a plan,” Beckman says. “I’ve been there, I am there, and I understand it. That’s why I love providing people with the nutrition and fitness tools they need to make positive changes in their lives, all from their own home, when it works for their schedule.”

To learn more, watch the exclusive webcast below and visit www.michellebeckman.com.

 

This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by Michelle Beckman

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Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about being stuck in a rut and the only way to get out (other than calling AAA).

030215LOLAI’m going to regret telling you this when you start driving, but I was towed out of our driveway TWICE today. Yes, within a five hour period, I (who actually thought I was a good driver until today) got stuck two separate times and had to call two separate tow trucks to help get me out.

The first time was annoying. I was taking you to an appointment, and all the sudden my tires started spinning. I thought “no big deal” and was determined to get it going again. We had things to do, places to be, and I wasn’t going to let this stop me.

In the five years of owning my car, I’ve grown to know it and read it very well. Ahem… at least, that’s what I thought.

Reverse, forward. Reverse, forward. The further I slid, slid, slid. Before I knew it, I had completely slid off the driveway and down into a big ditch next to it.

“Well,” I thought, “this stinks, but we need to get to that appointment! It’s time to put some elbow grease into this situation!”

I ran to our garage and pulled out the biggest shovel and bag of salt we had. I dug the snow out around each tire, poured the salt, and got back in my car fully confident I’d drive right out of that mess.

Nope. I just dug big muddy ruts with my tires in the process. I eventually got out to assess the situation and it looked like complete mayhem. Sliding tire tracks, skid marks, hastily shoveled out holes, random salt patches, and mud everywhere. Kind of embarrassing.

I finally gave up, unsnapped your car seat from the car, and headed back to the house. My determination and ingenuity felt more and more deflated with each step.

It was a rare time in my life where my hard work and quick thinking didn’t get me out of a situation. That’s always worked in the past.

So I called AAA and got a tow truck out to tow me out onto the road. I headed to our appointment and had no problems getting there or back. But then, I turned into our driveway and immediately started to slide again… almost in the same exact spot!

Again, I thought I could figure it out. The other time surely must have just been a fluke. I couldn’t possibly get stuck again. In the same spot. In my own driveway.

Reverse, forward. Reverse, forward. Further I slid, slid, slid. Before I knew it, I was back where I had been just a few short hours ago.

This time, though, I wasn’t just annoyed. I was furious. Furious at the snow. Furious at my car. Furious at myself for getting stuck again. Furious that I couldn’t figure it out. Again.

I called another tow truck to come get me. But this time was different. The tow truck driver was talkative. At first I was too furious to listen. I was too focused on getting my car out of these stupid ruts. Ruts that I had created.

But the more he talked, the more I could tell he was a car buff. He started asking if I had ever used the paddle shift option on my car. He said it could work wonders in this kind of weather.

Really, dude? You’re talking to a gal who calls this car her second home. But, no, I hadn’t used the paddle shift. I actually didn’t know it even had that option.

After he pulled my car out of the ditch, he asked if I wanted to drive it down our driveway to the garage or if I wanted him to. The hard-headed, determined, slightly feminist me wanted to say “no thanks” and hop in my car and do it myself.

But me doing it “my way” is what got me into trouble in the first place. Maybe it was time to learn a new way. So, much as it hurt my pride to say it, I told him he could drive me to our garage.

Once in the car, he taught me how to use the new option on my car. I couldn’t believe it, but it actually worked. When the wheels started spinning in the slick spot that sent me off the drive twice before, he shifted down and eased right past it.

No more sliding, no more reverse and forward, no more frustration, and no more ruts. I learned a new way, and therefore got new results.

So, keep this in mind: You can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking you used when you created them. That goes for any kind of rut, physical, mental or just a ditch in your driveway.

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