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    Genderlect is the language that’s tied to our gender. Women typically use verbal communication to not only get things done, but also bond with friends and loved ones. Men, on the other hand, use verbal communication as a last resort when gifts and gestures can’t get the message across.

    For example, when a couple comes home from a long day at work, sits down for dinner and begins to discuss their day, there is a notable difference in how each tells the story. When he talks about his 0208GIBBERMAN.gifday, the man’s answer is a quick, “Pretty good, lots of meetings.” When talking about her day, the woman goes into great detail, “Oh it was horrible! First I spilled coffee all down the front of me, then I was 15 minutes late to my first meeting which then made me 15 minutes late to every other meeting. I had no time for lunch and was starving by 2:00 p.m. so I binged on the candy that was sitting on my admin’s desk. I was stuck in traffic forever and the drive-through line to pick up dinner was ridiculous.”

    The man then stares at the woman like a deer in headlights secretly wishing he hadn’t asked at all. The wife sits pouting in silence because not only didn’t he share more with her, but he didn’t even inquire as to whether or not she was OK now or if there was anything he could do to make her day better. Sound familiar?

     Since the beginning of time, there has been an innate difference in the way men and women communicate. Though we are viewed as equals in our professional and personal lives, we are very different creatures. So different, in fact, that linguists have given a word to describe it: genderlect. Genderlect is defined as a variety of a language that is tied not to geography or family background or to a role, but to a speaker’s sexual gender.

    Conversational differences are initially noticed during childhood. Since the way we communicate is 0708DEGROOT_FASHION.gifthought to stem from the sexual gender role models who surround us, we adopt their communication styles. Girls speak with more emotion, describing how they feel and why they feel that way. They are usually at the center of a hostile situation trying to make light of it and find a peaceful and fair solution. Boys tend to be more aggressive. They speak more with action than words, and give direction instead of taking it. And boys tend to spend less time dealing with the drama that girls do.

     Surely, any woman reading this will agree that these differences do not change as we get older. Women tend to center even more of their conversations around emotions. They try to share every detail of a story and usually begin sentences with “I feel,” “I think,” or “I wish.” They engage in conversation hoping for feedback or suggestions.

    Men, on the other hand, only give detail when it’s required of them. They are more apt to quickly get to the point. They have little need for sharing the particulars that led up to an event and are often looking to end the conversation after they’ve made their point rather than take the time to hear what you think about the situation.

    So, when you’re at your wits end trying to make a relationship work, how do you get past the communication barrier? According to Suzette Haden Elign, author of “Genderspeak: Men, Women, and the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense,” these six simple steps can help you better understand one another:0408OAKLEY.gif

     

    1. Become aware of your own communication style. Each person has a unique style of communication. Listen to your own speech. Evaluate your words, your tone of voice and your body language. Compare your own communication style with that of individuals whom you judge to be effective communicators. Self-evaluation is an important first step in improving gender communication.
    2. Understand the communication style of the opposite sex. You may be unfamiliar with the unique communication style of the other gender. Listen carefully to the opposite sex around you. Make observations in their conversation. What do they say? How do they say it? When do they speak? Why do they speak? Discuss these conversational differences at an appropriate time, not when conflict arises. Try to determine if your perceptions are accurate. Then you are ready to make some changes in order to communicate more effectively with the opposite sex.
    3. Adjust to those conversational styles. You may think it is impossible to change the way you communicate because, after all, you have been communicating this way for years. Remember that communication is a learned behavior and behavior can be modified. If you tend to lecture or report, maybe you should work on better listening skills and discussing feelings, not just facts. If you tend to speak in vague generalities, perhaps you should work on more detail and specific information in your conversation. If your indirect body language is confusing your verbal message, maybe you should consciously work on gestures that clarify and confirm your words.
    4. Alter your conversational style to fit the context. Effective communication is adapted appropriately to fit the setting. Some comments are best made in private while others can be shared in public. Some statements are appropriate for a group at church while others should be made to your best friend, instead.
    5. Don’t assume that the opposite sex understands your message. Just because the message is clear to you does not mean that it is clear to the listener. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes in communication is assumption. It is always best to explain the message thoroughly than run the risk of being misunderstood.
    6. Don’t criticize others who communicate in a different way. It is a human tendency to think “my way is the best way.” In the area of communication, remember that different conversation styles are not bad. Different is simply different. Accept the differences and adjust when needed.


    After reading all of this you may find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed. Bridging the communication gap between a man and a woman takes patience from both people, and will in many cases be a life-long task. But while it will take work to break old habits and really begin to understand how the other person communicates, that effort can be the difference between forever miserable in life and happily ever after.

     
    PHOTO CREDITS:
    Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
    Location: The McAlpin
    Models:
    Beth Schlehr and Chad Reynolds, Unheard Of and Fanattik

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      Believe it or not, there is some good new surrounding the local real estate market. According to the Cincinnati Board of Realtors, sales numbers from the last four months have seen increasing home sale activity, a good indication that the housing market is beginning to recover. As the cherry on top, there’s a secondary metric that shows the overall housing inventory is dropping. Essentially, that means there are more houses being sold than being put on the market.

      Now that you know houses are actually moving in this market, we’ll tell you where to look for the hidden treasures to satisfy any taste!

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      Get in on Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods

      Mt. Washington
      Located east of Cincinnati near Columbia Parkway and Beechmont Avenue, this growing community is also part of Project Lily Pad. Other than many residents having free access to Wi-Fi, there is shopping, dining and real estate for every budget. Whether you are looking to rent or buy your own home, Mt. Washington has something for you. It also has several architecturally beautiful buildings such as the Athenaeum of Ohio, Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church and Guardian Angels Catholic Church.

      Oakley
      Neighboring the high-end Hyde Park, Oakley sports restaurants and shops such as Nest, Kona Bistro, Habits Cafe, Denim, Bova Furniture and Aglamesis Brothers, a very close competitor to the one-and-only Graeter’s.

       

      Price Hill
      This is another one of those up-and-coming communities. Full of both older Victorian-era and newer homes and situated atop hills overlooking the city, Price Hill is culturally and economically diverse. Many of the older homes are being revitalized and more new homes are being constructed.
       

      College Hill
      Named after the long-gone Farmer’s College and Ohio Female College, this neighborhood happens to be one of the largest around Cincinnati. Residents range from retirees in stately older homes to young families in cottage-style homes to renters in apartments. College Hill is a close-knit community where neighbors throw community parties
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      Mix It up a Bit

       

      Northside
      If you want an urban neighborhood with a community feel, Northside is the place for you! It is both economically and racially diverse and is home to Shake It Records, Shoe-Topia as well as vintage clothing stores, such as Avant Garage and Casablanca Vintage. Restaurants in Northside typically have one-word names, such as Honey, Melt and Slims.

      Mt. Adams
      A lively night scene and breath-taking views can only be one place: Mt. Adams! Get in an upscale neighborhood with plenty of dining, specialty shops and, of course, clubs and taverns.

      Clifton
      Still close to the center of town with a convenient commute to Cincinnati’s universities, Clifton offers a location as eclectic as it gets! Students take up many of the local apartments and some houses, but there is still a fair amount of families that call Clifton home. Ludlow, between Clifton Avenue and Whitfield, offers both American and international cuisine such as Ambar India Restaurant, Amol India, Mediterranean Foods. There’s even what some call the best Skyline Chili in Cincinnati and the Proud Rooster.

      Northern Kentucky
      Newport and Covington are just a short walk from each other and downtown. Covington is home to the eclectic Mainstrasse area, which not only offers a host of cafes and shops, but it also hosts fun events, such as antique walks and car shows. Newport is home to the popular Newport on the Levee, which has an aquarium, bars, restaurants, a bookstore and retail shops under one roof. Many old homes are being refurbished in these two areas as more people realize how nice it is to have a sense of community while being able to walk to the city (and see the city if you’re lucky!). These areas are also home new new high-end condos, so you can opt for those if a fixer-upper isn’t your bag.

      0408OAKLEY.gif High-Class Society

      Hyde Park
      While this neighborhood may be considered one of the nicest in the ‘Nati, you won’t find it stuffy. If you are looking for a quiet place to settle that is still close to all of the action, check out Hyde Park. In the heart of this peaceful community, you’ll find Hyde Park Square, a one-stop-shop of boutique shops and restaurants including Indigo, Teller’s, Vineyard Cafe and Graeter’s.

      Indian Hil
      As you drive through this 18.6 square mile neighborhood, you can pretty much smell the old money because there’s so much of it in this affluent community. If local celebrity watching is a hobby, this is the place to be as it’s home to notable residents such as Peter Frampton, Carson Palmer, Marvin Lewis and Carl Lindner. If raising a family is higher on your priority list, look into this area as it was named the “Best Place to Raise a Family” by the magazine Robb Report.

       

      Downtown
      With gas prices a premium, one way to reduce your pain at the pump is to live in the middle of the action instead of having to drive to it. If you’re looking for a prime location to get to work and off to play, look into one of these downtown neighborhoods.

      Greater Downtown
      If you work in the city, especially in the central business district, greater downtown is where you want to be. Great places to live include the Betts-Longworth Historic District and the Gateway Quarter. Another chic spot is Adams Landing, which includes the Captain’s Watch and Foster’s Point developments.

      St. Xavier Park
      East of Fountain Square lie old buildings converted into chic living space! The Krippendorf-Dittman Shoe Building has become the Sycamore Place lofts and the Power Building is now the Renaissance Apartments. Nearby, Silverglades Grocery is the neighborhood market, and Arnold’s Bar & Grill, the oldest bar in the city, provides residents with a watering hole.
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      Riverfront
      This is the place for the sports fans. Minutes away from Great American Ball Bark and Paul Brown Stadium, apartments like One Lytle Place are just right for you. The views of Mt. Adams and the city at night are just a fringe benefit.

      Fourth Street
      Get ready to stay busy! Fourth Street is the home of four-star Jean-Robert at Pigall’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Koch Sporting Goods. Great places to live in the area include Fourth & Plum Apartments, the Biltmore and the recently renovated McAlpin Lofts. And coming soon — Parker Flats!

      Lytle Park
      On the opposite end of the lively spectrum lies Lytle Park. Near the Taft Museum of Art and some of the largest office buildings in Cincinnati, this is the place for you if you want to be a part of downtown and still be able to get away from all of the hubbub when you need to. You will be just a short walk away from recreational areas along the river. The Edge condominiums and Lytle Tower are two housing options in the area.

      Piatt Park
      Take up residence near Cincinnati’s first park! On nice summer days you can take your computer outside to finish some work with free Wi-Fi supplied by Project Lily Pad. On your way back to The Lofts at Shillito Place, the Grammercy or Garfield Towers, stop at Cafe de Paris for a cup of joe. Get some fresh produce from the Court Street outdoor market or be entertained by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. And you’re just about three blocks away from Cincinnati’s shopping core.

      The ‘Burbs
      If you’re the quiet type that doesn’t want the bustling city life or you’re at the stage when you’re ready to settle down in a quieter, more relaxed neighborhood, the suburbs are the place for you. Here’s a quick breakdown of the best ‘burbs in Cincinnati.

      Anderson Township
      Just 15 minutes from downtown and about 25 minutes from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Anderson Township is close enough to the action that you won’t ever even realize it. The area’s schools are rated excellent and there are numerous parks and bike trails to help you get outside and enjoy some sunshine. There are several smaller communities that make up Anderson, all of which provide a choice of a stately older home or a newer homeowner’s association that offer all the amenities and conveniences you would expect.

      Blue Ash
      Twice voted one of the Top 50 Fabulous Places to Raise a Family in America, Blue Ash offers places to live, work and play. The city is part of the Sycamore Community City School District and home to the University of Cincinnati’s Raymond Walters College. Houses range in prices from around $100,000 to more than $1 million. There are many rental options as well.

      Mason
      Mason has grown from a small farming community to a mini-metropolitan area! This city is home to corporations such as Cintas, Mitsubishi, Proctor and Gamble’s Health Care Research Center and Luxottica Retail and resorts such as the Great Wolf Lodge and Conference Center and the Golf Center at King’s Island, designed by Jack Nicklaus and Jay Morrish.

      The Long Cove community in Mason is booming, according to Andrea Lucke, vice president of sales and design for Robert Lucke Homes. “In the last 12 months, 30 new homes [have sold] at an average sale price of $1.5 million for a total of over $50 million in sales,” she says. “This is especially good to hear for builders that have put market homes in this year’s Homearama, like myself!”

       

      “I have lived all over this city and each area has its unique characteristics,” says Amanda Dunaway, a Century 21 Stellar Real Estate agent. “I work a lot with first-time home owners and we typically look into neighborhoods like Montgomery, Sharonville, West Chester or Mason. These areas have reasonable condo’s and occasionally some decent fixer uppers too.” Dunaway says that she’s extremely happy with her home in Mason, “…I love our little neighborhood of ranches, bi-levels and tri-levels.”

       
      PHOTO CREDITS:
      Photo: Amy Storer 
      Model:
      Andrea Lucke, LuckeHomes.com

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        Buying a House
        Probably the most expensive single purchase you will make, buying a house can also be the most stressful experience of your life. Finding the perfect house, getting a loan and then finally signing the papers are just the first steps to getting into your new home. Here are a few steps to saving money when you buy a house:
         

        • Get two pre-approval letters from your lender, one for the maximum amount you can get and one for a lower amount. When you make an offer on the house, give the seller the lower letter and they will think that’s all you can pay.
        • Never tell your real estate agent your top price. The more money you spend, the more money they make off commission, so instead give your agent a range of prices.
        • Have the seller pay the closing costs to raise the selling price. The seller will get his money back and you won’t have to come up with more money upfront.
        • Don’t do any major finances before buying a house. Every time someone runs your credit report, your credit score goes down between five and nine points. Your interest rate goes up as your credit score goes down.  

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        Shopping for Appliances
        After you buy that house and get moved in, things are going to break. Hot water heaters will break and leak water all over your floor, causing you to have to replace the carpet. Homeowner’s insurance will take care of some of the bigger expenses, such as wind damage from a tornado, but you’re still stuck holding the bag for those incidental expenses. It really may be a blessing in disguise when your old washer goes out. Sure, you’re going to be out the money for the new unit, but newer appliances are more energy-efficient so you’ll actually be saving money on your energy bill. Just don’t let the salesman talk you into the extended warranty, especially if your new appliance comes with a one-year warranty. The cost of the warranty is usually more than the cost to repair your unit.   Another topic of interest when buying a new appliance is what features you actually need. It’s nice to have the newest, flashiest model on display, but it won’t be kind to your wallet. Instead, look at floor models or hit a “scratch and dent” sale. You can find a discounted model for a fraction of the cost.

         

        Remodeling Your House
        Maybe you found a fix ‘er upper or just need to make some changes to the house for it to be your dream home. Or maybe you don’t want to move your house, just some things around in it. Remodeling gets expensive, but you can save some money by stopping to set some priorities. Before beginning to remodel, decide what you absolutely cannot live without and what you can save on. If you can find a few smaller things to cut back on, you might be able to afford something bigger down the road. Just be careful cutting corners on highly visible objects such as drywall or trim work. You want that decor to look top-notch. If you are the do-it-yourself type of gal or you have someone who can do some work for you, save money on a contractor by getting some free labor. Also, make sure you take into account your financing options. Be sure that you are getting the best possible rate so your interest charges don’t end up costing more than the improvements on your house!

         

        Save on Your Energy Bill
        Going green in your home isn’t just kind to the environment. It will leave more green in your wallet each month as well. Replacing all of your appliances can get costly, but having Energy Star appliances will save you money down the road. There are a multitude of other ways to save on your energy bill. Check out this Web site to learn more.

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        Paying for College
        It had to be a college student who coined the phrase: “You have to spend money to make money.” Never is that saying more true than when a tuition bill comes due. Whether you are still finishing school, thinking about going back or have children or grandchildren who will one day enter college, paying for higher education gets more and more costly every year. The best way to save for college is applying for federal student aid. Free scholarship searches online, such as FastWeb.com and a quick Google search can help you find free funding. Take advantage of whatever services you can use to cut down on college expenses.   If you are finished with college and have children or grandchildren who plan to go, do them a favor and start saving early. Most banks offer accounts that can have a child’s name attached to them so that you can save money for your child, but your child does not have access to spend it until a certain age.  

         

        Planning a Wedding

        Every little girl dreams of the perfect fairy-tale wedding, and every father dreads paying for it. However, with a little bit of care, you can accomplish your fairy-tale wedding without bankrupting your family!:
         

        • Don’t invite your third cousin twice removed. Sure you’re forgoing that gift, but do you really thing someone you barely know is going to give you that much? Cutting your guest list can save tremendously at the bar and dinner table.
        • Have your wedding on a Sunday or weeknight. Typically, Saturday is the most expensive day to get married and if you pick any other day of the week you can get some form of discount. Make sure to point out to your vendors that your wedding is on a weeknight to ensure that you get the discount.
        • Scour eBay for everything from your dress all the way down to your favors. You can find almost anything on eBay, usually for much less than anywhere else.
        • Scale down your invitations. Skip the inner envelope and blotter paper and you’ll save money both when you order your invites and when you mail them. You almost need to take out a second mortgage for postage these days.
        • Have a Wedding Web site. Save on the printing, postage and hassle of RSVPs with online wedding tools such as theweddingtracker.com


        Take Your Dream Vacation
        First, you will need to find out how much money you need for your vacation. Shop around for the best airfare and hotel or rental rates and get a rough budget laid out. After that, you can figure out how much money you need to save to get where you want to be. Start your aggressive savings program by shaving some corners off your everyday spending. Find some ways to save on your grocery bill or set aside all the money you save on your energy bill after you get your Energy Star appliances. If you need to raise some money on top of what you are saving, consider having a yard sale or selling some of your junk on eBay. Remember, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure! As you start stockpiling money like a miser, open a savings account to stash it in. It’s safer than having cash laying around and harder to spend than if it’s sitting in your regular checking account.  

         

        Retire!
        If you start saving for retirement early in life you can accomplish one (or both) of two things: an earlier retirement date or a more lavish retirement. If you plan right, the last years of your life can be the best! Think about investing in a Roth 401(k). You can save tax-free as long as you wait until you are 59-and-a-half to withdraw from the fund. You can put more into it than a Roth IRA and0608AURA.jpg there are no income limits. If you find something enjoyable enough, you can still work after you retire. Consider working 10 or 15 hours a week to keep you busy and to earn a little extra spending money. But what if you’ve waited until your 30s or 40s to start saving for retirement? You can still save for retirement, you just need to take a more aggressive approach. Start by maxing out your contributions. Put as much money as you legally can into a 401(k) and IRA. Be sure your funds are invested in something that is going to give you a high return on your investment. And remember that while your 401(k) plan may be aggressive, it may just be costing you money. High risk stocks are a gamble.  

         

         No One Wants to Talk About This…
        Let’s just face it up front. Passing on can get expensive, but planning ahead can save you money and make things easier for your loved ones. If you know where you want to have your final resting place, contact them to make arrangements. Some places offer a pre-need discount and can set you up on payments that will allow you to take small bites out of that unpleasant bill.

         

        Child Care
        It may seem odd, but the cost of child care can be a major life expense. The task of finding someone you trust to care for your little bundle of joy (or energy) and not having to use your first born to pay for it is a task in and of itself. Talk to your employer and find out if your company has an agreement with any local childcare. Sometimes you can get a workplace discount. Try finding a friend or relative that can take your child for a couple of days a week. You can get a discount on day care costs and your friend or relative will be cheaper as well!   In-home child care is also typically cheaper than a day care center, and your child will get more individual attention. The child care provider will have fewer children to have to tend to daily and will be able to spend more time interacting and working with the children.

         

        PHOTO CREDITS:
        Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
        Location: The McAlpin
        Model: Michelle Kelly

        Makeup Artistry: Cecily Claytor, Zoë Custom Cosmetics

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          Hello women of Cincinnati! Often times, after women have found out that I started a charity, Amy’s Hope International, I am approached with questions as to how they can help. I am often surprised at how little the general public is aware of small to mid-size non-profits in our very own city. The sheer number of women that are looking to volunteer also surprises me! It is now my personal goal to educate you on the various charities in the area, as well as their volunteer opportunities.
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          Over the next six months, Cincy Chic will be focusing on five different local charities as well as providing advice and ideas to help ease you into the donating and volunteering world. You will hear from board members, employees, volunteers and beneficiaries of the organizations, which will give you an opportunity to experience the personality of the non-profit prior to volunteering.

          These charities are based and operated in the Cincinnati area. The benefactors are reached locally as well as globally. Cincy Chic is excited to share what is being done to make a difference as well as the interesting, fun people that are involved in making their organization a great success.

          In addition to the overview of the various non-profits, we will also supply you with helpful knowledge to become a better volunteer and donor to any given non-profit. If you have a local non-profit we should feature in the future, If you are interested in volunteering for or need more information about any of the below-mentioned groups, post a comment on the new Local Non-Profits’ forum in the forum section of Cincy Chic, or send an e-mail to volunteering@cincychic.com.

           July Highlight
          h2o nigeria
          “h2o nigeria is operated by Self Sustaining Enterprises (SSE), a not-for-profit, faith-based, charitable organization in Mason, Ohio,” according to the organization’s Web site. h2o nigeria works to provide clean water to the rural communities of Plateau State, Nigeria. The program also teaches the communities about sanitation and hygiene.

          “[h20 nigeria] captures the passion of caring people to bring the love of Christ to people in dire need in tangible and sustainable ways,” according to the organization’s Web site. The goal is for everyone in rural Nigeria to not only have access to clean water but to understand and use sanitation measures.

          0408OAKLEY.gif August Highlight
          Kenzie’s Closet
          Kenzie’s Closet collects gently worn formal dresses and accessories and provides them free of charge to “economically disadvantaged” Cincinnati area high school students. High school guidance counselors, principals and social workers refer the girls to Kenzie’s Closet.

          “We want to make sure that no young woman in Cincinnati has to miss her prom this season because of family financial limitations,” says Brynne Coletti, founder and executive director of Kenzie’s Closet. “A prom is a special rite of passage for a young lady, a night she dreams about.”
             
          Both dress and cash donations are appreciated. The cash donations allow Kenzie’s Closet volunteers to buy dresses in sizes they do not have, Coletti says.
             
          Volunteers also are needed to work in the Kenzie’s Closet boutique (located in O’Bryonville). Volunteers help with dress alternations and serve as personal shopping guides for each of the young ladies. Please visit www.kenziescloset.org or call 513-533-PROM for more information on how to donate or volunteer. All donations are tax-deductible.
             
          Kenzie’s Closet was named after Makena “Kenzie” Comisar, who was killed tragically in a single-car accident in 2002 before she ever got to attend her own senior prom. Kenzie was a student at St. Ursula Academy and was known for her big heart and generosity.

          September Highlight
          Literacy Center West
          Literacy Center West (LCW) works to eliminate illiteracy. “The mission of [LCW] is to provide literacy instruction and GED preparation at no cost to those who desire our services,” according to the LCW Web site. Besides literacy, however, LCW wants to instill “excellent character and civic responsibility” in their clients.

          Because LCW operates on less than $500,000 per year, every dollar makes a difference. And every dollar is tax-deductible. To donate, visit the LCW Web site.

          0608AURA.jpg October Highlight
          Back2Back Ministries
          “Back2Back Ministries communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through our service to others,” according to the organization’s Web site. Functioning on both a local and international level, the organization works with local students as well as orphan children and needy people in Monterrey, Mexico, and Jos, Nigeria. Locally, the group works with area churches to encourage and develop leadership skills in students.

          For more information, visit Back2Back Ministries at their Web site or contact them at 513-754-0300.

          November Highlight
          Amy’s Hope International
          Amy’s Hope International (AHI) strives to help Eastern European orphanages receive grants to help relieve their financial burdens while they are providing a healthy environment for children.
          ”Private orphanages offer a solid upbringing with a focus on education, self-sufficiency and Christian faith. This environment provides an avenue for orphans to become contributing members of society,” according to AHI’s Web site. With this solid upbringing, these children are more likely to grow into adults who are not homeless, prostitutes, alcoholics or drug abusers, according to the AHI’s Web site.

          December Highlight
          “How To Donate Properly During the Holiday Season”

          Make the most of your tax deductible dollars by becoming an intelligent donor. It is not only important to invest your money wisely but give it wisely as well. We are going to provide insight into just how you can do this.

           

          PHOTO CREDITS:
          Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
          Location: The McAlpin
          Model: Christine Brunner
          Makeup Artistry: Cecily Claytor, Zoë Custom Cosmetics

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            One of the perks to being a Tri-State resident is being within a reasonable reach of several major airports. If you would like to save a few dollars and spend it on your upcoming trip, take the extra time to compare ticket prices at the following airports and you could save a big chunk of your vaca cash.

             

            Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
            The obvious choice is CVG, one of the most active airports in the country. But even though this airport has the closest  location, it reigns as one of the most expensive in the nation. It has all the standard amenities such as Wi-Fi access and boasts some of the most convenient parking around. CVG also became the third airport in the area to offer equestrian trails around the airfield. The riding paths are open until September 3, and registered members can bring up to three guests to ride with them.

            0208GIBBERMAN.gif Dayton International Airport
            A short drive north takes you to Dayton International. Where better to fly out of than the birthplace of aviation? With this being a smaller airport, it’s just a short walk from even the furthest parking spot. Besides being a top-notch local airport, you can spend some time around Dayton to check out some of the local attractions dedicated to air travel.

            Columbus Regional Airport Authority
            If you’re not opposed to driving a little bit farther, the Columbus airport is just a couple of hours north of Cincinnati. It boasts free Wi-Fi for all you frugal chic geeks out there.

            Blue Grass Airport
            If you wish to stay in Kentucky, take a look at Lexington’s airport. Boasting one of the most beautiful airport approaches around, Lexington also offers some business services for its working flyers.

            Louisville International Airport
            A recent winner of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Runway Safety Partnership Award, Louisville has been taking steps to ensure the runways are as safe as they can be.

            Indianapolis International Airport
            Indianapolis is in the midst of expanding and upgrading. A new main entrance is under construction, and with it will come more streamlined security check-in processes and customer amenities.

            With all the Web sites dedicated to helping travelers find the best airfares, buying tickets can be a daunting task. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular ticket outlets:


            • Cheaptickets.com: Known for its “Best Price Guarantee” hotel rates.
            • Priceline.com: Name your own price and see if they go for it.
            • Travelocity: Boasting it’s “You’ll Never Roam Alone” slogan, Travelocity provides destination reviews and a Travelocity Guarantee to make sure you get what you paid for.
            • Studentuniverse.com: An online student travel agent with cheap tickets.A university address e-mail address is required.
            • Orbitz: Known for its innovative technology with RSS feeds to update you with the latest deals, customized coupons via e-mail and mobile alerts.
            • Lastminutetravel.com: The name says it all, as this is the place you should go if you get a wild hair to take a last minute trip. Check out this week’s “Best of the Web Travel Guide” story to help you navigate the world with resources on the World Wide Web.


            It is a good idea to start watching ticket prices a couple months before buying. Airline tickets are like concert tickets; some are on reserve and then become available when you get closer to go time. You can get some of the best deals to be offered at 21 days prior to your departure.

            Bag It Up!
            After buying your tickets, it’s time to start packing your bags! As women, we’re predisposed to the over-packing bug. But, airline companies are cracking down on extra luggage and heavy baggage. American Airlines became the first major carrier to announce that it would charge a $15 fee for the first checked bag for most of its coach customers – that’s on top of the $25 that it and other airlines have already begun charging for a second bag.

            You just might want to re-think that extra outfit or pair of shoes. To know for sure what to expect, you should either call or go online to check and see what each carrier limits when it comes to luggage.
            0408OAKLEY.gif
            But air travel rules and regulations don’t stop there. Don’t forget about the carry-on limitations. All liquids must be 3ozs. or less and they must be inside a ziplock bag. This includes hand sanitizer, lip-gloss, mascara, hair spray, nail polish, liquid eyeliner and so many more. To see a complete list of items that may be carried-on, please refer to the TSA regulations.

            If you’re a bit concerned about what to do or know when traveling, another great tip is to simply arrive early and allow yourself extra time to get situated and get set for the trip ahead. You should always arrive at least 1 hour before a flight. Airlines reserve the right to change flight times without prior notice. So it serves you best to go by the time that you were given, arrive early and have a little bit of patience to get through the traveling process.

            On the Road Again
            If you’re opting out of all the confusing air travel regulations and just hitting the road instead, here are a few ways you can ease the pain at the pump:

             

            • Tire pressure. Imagine running laps with 5-pound weights strapped to each leg. That’s what driving a car with underinflated tires is like. Underinflated tires can sap 4 to 10 percent out of a car’s potential gas mileage. So, make sure you get your tire pressure checked before you get high blood pressure from your gas bill.
            • Don’t feel the need for speed. While it feels good to weave through traffic at 74 mph, that speed doesn’t feel so good when you look at its price. According to the Daily Green, you get the best fuel economy at 55mph.
            • Don’t drive aggressively. This is probably one of the most over looked things, but go easy on the accelerator. If you’re in traffic tailgating the car in front of you, you won’t get to your destination any faster, plus you are increasing your chances of an accident. Check out Hypermiling.com, where they are attempting to get 100 mpg from regular gas cars.
            • Don’t drive during peak times. You could save a lot of time and gas by not sitting in rush hour traffic as you’re traveling to your destination.
            • Weight reduction. It’s time to get rid of that junk in your trunk, and we’re not talking about your low rise jeans. It’s time to open the trunk and see what kind of weight you can leave in your garage. Golfers who love to tote around their clubs can save weight by leaving them at home when they aren’t headed to the course. But don’t get ridiculous. Keep the spare tire.
            • Proper oil grade. Use the lightest grade of oil recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. A multiviscosity oil such as 5W30 can save gas compared with regular 30-weight oil because it creates less friction. (Decoded version: The engine doesn’t have to work as hard.)
            • Air conditioning. If you can get away without using air conditioning, you’ll save gas. But opening windows as a replacement won’t help as it creates more drag (a.k.a. less aerodynamic). For example, a Honda Civic driven at 45 miles per hour incurs a 4 percent energy efficiency loss if the windows are open. So, if you don’t want to bake with the windows up, you might as well cool off in the air conditioning.


            To check out exactly how much your trip will cost you, click here and go to the “Calculate Your Gas Costs” section on the left. Plug in your vehicle MPG, gas price, and distance and it will tell you how much to put aside for gas bills on your summer trip this year.

             

            PHOTO CREDITS:
            Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
            Location: Gateway Quarter
            Model: Rachel Long

            Makeup Artistry: Cecily Claytor, Zoë Custom Cosmetics

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              Myth #1: There’s No Diversity in Cincinnati

              If you’re still believing this myth, you probably missed our March 24 “Queen City Culture” issue, which featured both the well-established and growing diversity in the Tri-State. More than 50 countries are represented in the overall makeup of the Queen City’s population. This results in an array of events and activities with influences from many cultures around the world.

              0208GIBBERMAN.gif First-time transplants are always surprised by the region’s diversity and cultural secrets. “I love the fact that you can cross the river and be in a different state with a very different culture,” Sarah Simpson of Mt. Adams shared with the Cincinnati USA City Guide 2008, a supplement to Cincinnati Magazine.

              Our Tri-State boasts a wide variety and many diverse events So, when you’re feeling like globetrotting, check out these events, without jet setting out of town.

              Myth #2: The Young People are Still Leaving in Droves

              There’s an assumption, a myth if you will, that young professionals (YPs) — those born between 1965-1982 — are making a mass exodus out of Cincinnati for greener professional and lifestyle pastures. But as with any stereotype or myth, there’s a grain of undeniable truth, somewhere. Back in the 1990s, more than 7,200 people born between 1966 and 1975 did leave Hamilton County, a 6 percent loss, according to an analysis of Census data by The Cincinnati Enquirer; Hamilton lost more young professionals than any other urban county in the Midwest.

              But that was then and today is now.

              According to Forbes, the Queen City actually ranked 18th on the magazine’s 2007 “Best Cities for Young Professionals” list, nationwide. Why the Cincy-appeal? Well, according to the article, the ‘Nati offers the right mix of what every young-blooded, ambitious, over achiever desires: “a combination of quality companies, plus good starting salaries and affordable living.” Forbes also ranked Cincinnati 15th for the number of elite graduates moving town, meaning that other young people from different cities are considering and giving Cincinnati a shot, rather than bigger cities such as New York and Chicago.

              And the city is doing everything in its power to make sure it keeps climbing that Forbes‘ list and the list of YPs everywhere. Soapbox, a weekly-email newsletter chock full of positive and uplifting coverage of the region, was designed specifically for local employers seeking to lure elusive YPs to their doorstep. Organizations such as Give Back Cincinnati and The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber‘s HYPE: Harnessing Young Professional Energy, were founded with YPs on the brain and to ensure that they have a reason and purpose to stay in and not leave Cincinnati.

              Myth #3: Cincinnati is Nasty

              We’ve all heard the slang “nasty ‘Nati” thrown around by the younger generation in describing Cincinnati, and though it’s hard to tell exactly where this self-deprecating moniker originated, one thing’s for sure: Cincinnati is in fact, far from being nasty.

              In a sense of ironic reality, the Queen City has become infamous for it’s aversion for anything remotely perceived as nasty. Exhibit A: The highly publicized and controversial legal hoopla surrounding photographer Robert Mapplethorpe‘s installation of “The Perfect Moment” — in particular, seven black and white photographs depicting explicit homosexual and questionable child pornography resulted in the unsuccessful prosecution of the Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati and its director, Dennis Barrie, on charges of “pandering obscenity.”

               

              Exhibit B: Just today (Monday, June 9), Citizens for Community Values (CCV) — a coalition that promotes, according to its Web site, “Judeo-Christian moral values and attempts to reduce destructive behaviors contrary to those values” — held a press conference at City Hall downtown to publicly ask CityBeat to voluntarily stop accepting and advertising sexually-oriented personal ads in both its print and online editions. CCV would like CityBeat to stop running the ads within two weeks. 0608TRINA.gif

               

               

              CCV said the local law enforcement agencies, including those in Hamilton County, have made arrests after calling the phone numbers in the ads and tracing them to illegal massage parlors.

              “We have 28 documented cases where by the Sheriff and Cincinnati Police Department have filed charges against individuals who have used Citybeat.com and CityBeat newspapers. So, 28 charges we have regarding that, seven this year. This is information that we have documented,” said CCV member, Charlie Winburn.

               

              Citybeat’s response? “Apparently today is “Let’s Gang Up on CityBeat” Day in Cincinnati. Just about every public official listed in today’s Enquirer article as being a leader of this “coalition led by Citizens for Community Values” has been the subject of critical news articles, columns and editorials in CityBeat — one of our most important duties is to report on the actions of public officials. For years Citizens for Community Values has actively tried to interfere with our business operations by working to get distribution points to drop CityBeat.

              We make decisions about our business every day and on our own terms. We won’t be bullied or intimidated by any outside force that thinks they can make those decisions for us,” John Fox, Editor/Co-Publisher and Dan Bockrath, General Manager/Co-Publisher, signed in a released statement. It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out.

               

              The Mapplethorpe fiasco, coupled with the fact that there is not a single X-rated theater, topless bar or massage parlor inside the city limits and actions by groups like the CCV, Cincinnati has made a name for itself as a “porn-busting town”: Censornati.


              Myth #4: Cincinnati Hasn’t Put Itself on the Map

              According to the article “The Birthplace of Branding,” in the Cincinnati USA 2008 City Guide, many people don’t even realize that many of the household products that are so dear and near to their heart, were branded right here in lil’ ole Cincinnati.

                0408OAKLEY.gif

              “The quick factoid is that you cannot walk down the grocery aisle in any place in the world without seeing a product that’s branded in Cincinnati,” says Doug Moorman, vice president for economic development at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, in the article. “That ranges from Kentucky Fried Chicken to Valvoline to Pampers and Jif…almost any consumer product imaginable is branded, managed, refreshed and kept current by people working in the Cincinnati USA region.”

              Another indication that the Queen City has earned its gold star on the proverbial global map is the decision of Swedish-furniture-retailer-conglomerate IKEA choosing West Chester, Ohio as the location for opening its 34th store in North America. Joseph Roth, IKEA’s director of expansion for North America, said he started analyzing Ohio in 2004 and studied both Cleveland and Columbus before settling on the up-and-coming West Chester suburb.

              Myth #5: Over-the-Rhine is Still Overrun with Drug Dealers and Hooligans

              During the 19th century, Over-the-Rhine (OTR) was one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the Midwest. As the center of German life in Cincinnati, the population of the district reached 45,000. However, during the later 19th and early 20th centuries, German-Americans began abandoning their ethnic enclave, amid a more general trend of slowing European immigration. Over time, this once-dense area became abandoned and run-down.

              In fact, if you ever want to get a sense of this era in OTR, rent the movie “Traffic.” According to IMDb, writer Stephen Gaghan originally planned to set the Wakefield family storylines in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. During his research, he determined that Cincinnati’s bad neighborhoods (i.e., OTR) looked worse than Louisville’s and would serve the finished film better, so he moved the Wakefields’ stories to Ohio.


              Main St. was the only well-traveled area in OTR during this time, known for its long line of popular watering holes. But on April 7, 2001, riots broke out downtown, and they ensued for three days before the city was able to contain the confusion. The once vibrant Main St. bar scene suffered a slow death, as many Cincinnatians grew increasingly fearful of OTR.

              But all that has changed thanks to the courageous and persistent like-minded residents, business owners, developers and stakeholders who refused to let a neighborhood — or a movie define them or their city. Organizations such as iRhine and The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce are taking on responsibilities and making sure change happens, “Cincinnati’s greatest asset lies in the heart of our beautiful city. Other towns have stadiums and amusement parks, but they are not the ‘Paris of America.’ We must work together to revitalize Over-the-Rhine. From galleries and shop owners, to bakeries and grocery stores, let’s make it safe, clean and profitable for everyone. This is the future of Cincinnati, and it is time that the citizens take responsibility for their community,” states Ran Mullins, iRhine’s founder and CEO/Creative Director of Metaphor Studio, LLC. Businesses such as the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, OTR Brewery District and The Gateway Quarter also have had a tremendous and heavy hand in birthing a revitalized OTR.

              According to the OTR Chamber, District One, which includes Over-the-Rhine, West End and downtown, has had 18 consecutive months of decline in crime. Between 2007 and 2006, crime was down 25 percent. Between 2007 and 2002, crime has nose-dived 41 percent. In fact, 2007 crime was lower in this area than in 2000. District One now has the lowest crime statistics of Cincinnati’s five districts.

              Recently, OTR made pop-culture and media headlines — and not to mention a local frenzy — when popular alternative rock band, 3 Doors Down chose Cincinnati as the location backdrop for their “It’s Not My Time” music video. When asked why the Queen City was picked, the group said they chose Cincinnati because it has a big city look and a big city feel, without the big city red tape for production purposes. Director Shaun Silva also loves the “look of Cincinnati” and claims that it has a very diverse look and feel to it. In addition to OTR, shots were filmed on Fountain Square, at Ault Park and the Eight Street viaduct. Click here to see the video in its entirety and see if you can spot the familiar Cincy spots!

               

              Editor’s note: Update! We were just alerted by a Cincy Chic reader that she, Amanda Bentley — a model/actress and full-time interior designer who specializes in custom hardwood floor design is featured as the mom driving the car in the 3 Doors Down video and she just wanted to let everyone know that, “…it might be cool for all to know the actress in the video isn’t from L.A. but a native Cincinnatian!” Way to go Amanda and thanks for letting us know!

               

              So, nowadays, instead of the lowered tones of shame and embarrassment, Mullins says that new mantra will be, “‘I live in Over-the-Rhine, I work in Over-the-Rhine, I eat in Over-the-Rhine, etc…I Rhine!'”

              Myth #6: Cincinnati is Always 20 Years Behind the Times

              Another myth floating around the Cincinnati stratosphere is a remark that Mark Twain once made: “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years behind the times.”

              Some may argue that this myth is one we can’t completely refute, as demonstrated by the continuously delayed Streetcar and The Banks initiatives, however, Cincinnati is taking strong stances on certain things, such as BODIES: The Exhibition.

              Despite the controversy and questions regarding the origins of the bodies — critics and human-rights watchdog groups claim that not only do the bodies come from China, a country with a long history of human-rights abuses, but the people whose bodies are used, did not give permission for their bodies to be put on display, for either medical, educational or profitable use Cincinnati agreed to be one of only eighteen cities in the world to host the exhibit. Other cities include Madrid, Las Vegas, New York and Vienna, just to name a few.

              According to Douglass W. McDonald president and CEO of The Cincinnati Museum where the exhibit is displayed it was an important and delicate decision in not backing down on what he thought was best for the city, “The Cincinnati Museum Center remains confident in its decision to bring Bodies…The Exhibition to the community. We have always believed such an exhibition – involving real human bodies – must be handled with sensitivity and consideration, which is why we convened an ethics panel to review information about all of the different “body” exhibits and vendors, and all of the issues surrounding this type of exhibit, including the specimens’ origin. This panel, including area doctors, university professors, philosophers, theologians, and legal experts, along with Museum Center leadership unanimously agreed it was important to present this extraordinary educational experience to the Cincinnati region.

              After reviewing the information presented in the 20/20 story, we have not changed our position, although we have taken additional steps to ensure we are continuing to handle this exhibition in the utmost responsible manner,” McDonald stated in a press release on the Museum’s Web site.

              It’s a decision that, on the whole, Cincinnatians are glad was made, “We have been encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response from the community and visitors who have been through the exhibition. These visitors thank us for offering them a powerful and unsurpassed learning opportunity,” McDonald reports.

              Just an example that Cincinnati and Cincinnatians aren’t behind the times.

              Myth #7: There’s No Talent in Cincinnati

              Whoever came up with this myth is obviously a ‘Nati-Debbie-Downer. In reality, Cincinnati is a breeding ground for innovative and progressive talent. In particular, local women are forging their way to the head of the class and everyone is taking notice.

              The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is one organization that took notice and has been proudly showcasing local women through their WE Celebrate awards event. The event honors women and women-owned businesses for their achievement, innovation, social responsibility and mentoring and provides women business owners the chance to come together with others who know what it’s like to honor the sacrifices and successes that all women been through. “The breadth and depth of talent among greater Cincinnati’s business women is amazing. When we shine a spotlight on these successful women, their stories and learnings empower other women to aspire to their level of success,” says Vanessa Freytag, executive director, Women’s Fund, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation WE Celebrate.
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              Cincy Chic and our very own Amy Storer was awarded the distinction of the WE Celebrate “Best New Product or Service of the Year.” Click here to see a list of the other women winners who have squashed the rumors that there’s no talent in Cincinnati.

              Think all the great writers are in New York and Las Vegas? Well, you guessed wrong. The Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI) is a grassroots arts organization of local playwrights, directors and actors devoted to bringing new plays by local playwrights to the Cincinnati stage, proving that writing talent can be found in the Queen City. Through CPI’s New Voices Series, the group has offered 170 readings of 145 new plays, many of which are in the 2008 Fringe Festival lineup.

              Another vehicle of local talent is the upcoming 48 Hour Film Project. The 48 Hour Film Project comes to Cincinnati on the weekend of June 13. Filmmakers from all over the Cincinnati area will compete to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours. The winning film will go up against films from around the world for the title “Best 48 Hour Film of 2008.”

                Created by a group calling itself Mirepoix Pictures, “Held in Sway” was named Best Film at last summer’s 48 Hour Film Project/Cincinnati. For that matter, it also won best direction, cinematography and musical score. Worldwide, more than 30,000 filmmakers entered 48 Hour competitions in 55 cities, according to this article. The film won the team a place in the famed Cannes Film Festival, which opened in the French Riviera resort town on May 15, 2008. Click here to see the award-winning flick!

              Myth #8: There’s Nothing to do in Cincinnati

              “I love the fact that there’s so much to do in the metro area. One can get good food, entertainment, cultural activities, educational events, plays, ethnic exposure and really good shopping,” says Zebulun Davenport in the Cincinnati USA 2008 City Guide.

              So if you’re looking for something to do in Cincinnati, the key is knowing where to go! Check out the following links:
               

               

               


              So the next time you hear someone saying something negative about Cincinnati, or you are guilty of doing so, consider this: according to this source, Joan Kaup, who recently ran for Cincinnati City Council, has an e-mail signature which includes the question: “What great thing have you said about Cincinnati today?” An important question we need to continually ask ourselves. Because the more good things we have to say about Cincinnati, the more myths we can bury.

               
               

              PHOTO CREDITS:
              Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
              Location: Gateway Quarter
              Model: Emily Schellenbach

              Makeup Artistry: Cecily Claytor, Zoë Custom Cosmetics

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                The very word “boutique” has fabulous roots, as it comes from the French word for “shop.” Boutiques traditionally specialize in elite and fashionable items such as clothing and jewelry. The term entered into everyday English use in the late 1960s when, for a brief period, London was the center of the fashion trade. Carnaby Street and Kings Road were the focus of much media attention, as it was home to the most fashionable boutiques of that era.

                In today’s era here in Cincinnati, fashionable boutiques call Madison Rd., Erie Ave., Observatory Ave., Hamilton Ave. and Miami Ave. home. But there’s a lot hidden in between. Here’s a rundown of where to find the best boutiques for every need (and lusty want) your heart desires.

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                Fashion
                It’s only natural to start with fashion when talking about boutiques. Check out this week’s fashion story for our fashionista’s review of all the local fashion boutiques in town. But here’s a few tried and true favorites:


                Envy
                2651 Observatory Ave.
                Cincinnati, OH 45208

                This boutique truly lives up to its “from black tie to blue jeans” motto. Divulge in their denim wall, or drool over a Nicole Miller ruffled silk shift dress. You can have it all.

                Snap
                2732 Erie Ave.
                Cincinnati, OH 45208

                You feel a little spunkier just walking by Snap. It always has the best eye candy for window shoppers. But walk in and you’ll see it’s just brimming with fun, funky and fresh items. Spring arrivals include great tops by LA Made, shorts and capris from Billy Blues, fun fashion by Hardtail and Miss Me. And don’t miss their Kandi Swim line, which comes in various “flavors,” such as cupcake, milkshake, ice cream sundae or smoothie suits.

                Suki
                3456 Michigan Ave.
                Cincinnati, OH 45208

                This unique shop – specializing in unusual pieces from emerging designers, avant-garde European designers and perennial lines – once called Ludlow in Clifton home, but it’s now nesting on Cincinnati’s very own Michigan Ave. The name – Japanese for “I like” – is fitting, as there’s plenty to like in Suki!

                Alligator Purse
                2701 Erie Ave.
                Cincinnati, OH 45208

                Walk by Alligator Purse in East Hyde Park, and you’ll likely see incredible dresses, fashionable accessories and, yes, maybe even an alligator purse. But the untrained eye won’t catch this boutique’s true calling: denim. Lovely, gorgeous, yummy denim. So, make sure you walk to the back and find its display of jeans by Paper Denim & Cloth and Citizens of Humanity hanging neatly from giant silver pegs. You’ll be so happy, you’ll shed crocodile tears.

                0408OAKLEY.gif Denim
                3212 Madison Rd.
                Cincinnati, OH 45209

                Speaking of denim, go to the place that calls it like it is: Denim. In the heart of Oakley, this shop is heaven to the denim worshiper. With every designer you can dream of, and a knowledgeable staff that knows how to find the perfect pair, they make jean shopping actually enjoyable. Imagine that.

                Plum Diore
                6099 Montgomery Rd.
                Cincinnati, OH 45213

                Add an ounce of urban, a dash of funky, a sprinkle of bohemian and fold in fashionable. What do you get? Plum Diore, of course. This shop specializes in functional fashion. The cuts are unique and fashion-forward, but the fabrics are comfortable enough to wear all day. The shoes are on trend, but won’t put your podiatrist on speed-dial. You get the gist.

                The Wardrobe
                6910 Miami Ave.
                Madeira, OH 45243

                This shop is owned and operated by a woman that once helped Patricia Fields wardrobe the Sex and the City ladies. Need we say more? She has a high-end, high-fashion eye that will make you shine here in the Queen City. Check out her brand new shop in Madiera!

                Jewelry
                Spice up any outfit with an eye-catching necklace, or super-sexy shoulder-sweeping earrings. Here are a few places where you can find the perfect piece of jaw-dropping jewelry:


                Paolo
                3408 Telford St.
                Cincinnati, OH 45220

                If you like posh, simple and unique, this place is for you. Tucked away on Telford in Clifton, this modern jewelry boutique is class all the way. You can find a hand-crafted item in the store, or talk to one of the designers or metalsmiths on staff and have something custom-made to perfection. Or make something new from something old by bringing in your unwanted jewelry and having their experts recycle, reuse and redesign!

                Elizabeth’s Closet
                934 Hatch Street

                Cincinnati, OH 45202

                Specializing in the jewelry (handbags and accessories – oh my!) you won’t find in a department store, owner Elizabeth Cook says her shoppers come to her because of her unique jewelry and handbags from all over the world. And because it’s upstairs from Daveed’s in Mt. Adams, it doesn’t have your typical boutique hours (2pm-11pm). Other perks of Elizabeth’s Closet include enjoying a glass of wine while shopping or hosting a Tapas event.

                Pizazz Studio
                122 West Loveland Ave.
                Loveland, OH 45140

                Pizazz is a good name for this shop because it has a whole lot of it. Chunky beads, shiny metals, loud colors, they have it all. Pizazz has your typical Trollbeads and Pandora Beads, but also offers super cute “HeartStrings” monogrammed silver jewelry and Annaleece fashion jewelry.

                One in a Million
                8740 Montgomery Road
                Cincinnati, OH 45236

                While One In A Million features unique gifts, extraordinary handbags, fashion accessories and home décor, the designer jewelry is the star of this shop. Their collections include: Davide Bigazzi (a former designer with Gucci), Gena Hoshihara (featured by Saks), Michael Spirito, Lucia Antonelli, Haim Becker, Stella Sarmiento, Reba Engel, Mummy’s Bundle, Elle, Amy Kahn Russell, Mars and Valentine, Lilly Barrack, Charles Albert…just to name a few.
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                Lingerie
                Another word with a French heritage, lingerie, has a way of letting us be fashionable and fabulous from the inside out. So, if you take the time to shop at the above boutiques, start at these first to get a good “base coat”:


                Knickers of Hyde Park
                2726 Erie Ave.
                Cincinnati, OH 45208

                Knickers is one of the first businesses to put bras up in the window in conservative ol’ Cincinnati. If that’s not reason enough to buy things there, their flirty, fun selection of “knickers” certainly will. While they don’t have the largest selection in the world (real estate is expensive in Hyde Park, come on!), they do have a helpful staff that will get the girls fitted like a pro.

                La Silhouette Lingerie
                6914 Miami Ave.
                Madeira, OH 45243

                It’s all about the atmosphere at La Silhouette. Swedish-native owner, Britt Cruikshank, brings a European flavor to everything from Parisian decor and luxurious European lingerie designers to the tea and cookies you can share with Britt as you shop. Cruikshank shares advice about opening one’s own boutique in this week’s career story.

                 

                Gattle’s
                Multiple locations
                Specializing in everything bed-related, lingerie is just one of the things they offer at Gattle’s. But if you’re going to get pretty lingerie, you might as well get the monogramed bed linens to match and an intoxicating fragrance to lure him in.

                Shoes
                They say “If the shoe fits, wear it,” but what if it’s not a cute shoe? There are a few options in town to save the day:

                Azzini Shoe Warehouse
                7235 Algonquin Dr.
                Cincinnati, OH 45243

                While they aren’t exactly a boutique, they do have a “shoe-in” with a very niche audience. Blue Ash-based wholesalers during the week, they invite the public in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to check out their hot trends at big discounts and up to size 12. They specialize in the larger-sized shoes and smaller-sized prices you can’t find elsewhere.

                Shoe Topia
                4044 Hamilton Ave.

                Cincinnati, OH 45223 

                In case you missed our shoe issue a couple week’s ago (living under a rock, much?), you shoe-o-holics might not realize there’s a mighty fix nearby in Northside. This shop is “sole food” for the unique shoe lover, as its forte is in its unconventional and conversation-starting, yet trendy and on-trend designs.

                Unique Gifts
                For those of you who secretly get a little too much pleasure from giving the funniest card and most unique gift at the party, you need to check these places out:


                Poême
                3446 Michigan Ave.
                Hyde Park, OH 45208

                Gift-giving Gods smile happily on Poême in Hyde Park. They carry everything from a “Happy F***ing Christmas” card during the holidays and a high-end Homer Simpson writing pen to super chic corporate gifts and expertly-designed stationery. But be it known, Poême’s forte is their writing accessories, from handmade sheets of paper to personalized wax seals.

                Metronation
                1213 Vine st.
                Cincinnati, OH 45202

                “Objects for your life” is Metronation’s motto, and – if scented candles, hand-crafted jewelry, unique greeting cards and home accessories are a big part of your life – that’s exactly what they deliver. They also feature a hard-to-find collection of colorful Storm watches.

                Park + Vine
                1109 Vine Street
                Cincinnati, OH 45202

                Right down the street from Metronation is Park + Vine. They have a similar motto too, but it’s more like “objects for your eco-friendly life.” And since green is the new black, this place is quite the hotspot. Get everything from apparel and footwear to biodegradable home goods and earth-friendly home improvement products. The owner, Dan Korman, takes it a step further than the products and hosts occasional lectures and discussion groups, such as “Recycling 101” and OTR revitalization initiative think tanks. Check out the Park + Vine event page to see how you can get your life a little greener.
                 

                 

                 

                PHOTO CREDITS:
                Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
                Location: Gateway Quarter
                Model: Shavaughn Byrd
                Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics

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                  Not so long ago, women were taught from birth that meekness and modesty were beautiful traits. We were told that the content of our conversation was not as important as the quality because it was more important for us to sound feminine and genteel than intelligent.

                  Thank goodness proper etiquette has changed with the times!

                  While some of those old, Victorian rules such as “Gentleman should be seen and not smelled,” still apply, many of them have changed. It’s OK for women to have an intelligent conversation now, but it might be best to save the political discussions for the second (or third) date. Of course, if arguing is something you both enjoy, go for it! Who knows? It could be the start of something beautiful.

                  And another thing. Don’t stand someone up. Have the decency to call him and let him know that you won’t be able to make it, even if you don’t have any intentions of ever meeting him. Letting him be the guy that sits alone waiting for you to show up is just plain rude.

                  So, you didn’t stand him up, you showed up — on time and stunning — and you have finished your dinner. The waiter brings the check…Who pays? Traditionally, he does. But if you did the asking, you should make the first move for the check. If he wants to take care of the bill, let him, just don’t expect it. You can take care of the bill on your second date.

                  0208GIBBERMAN.gif Speaking of restaurants, here are a few tips on tipping. The general rule for tipping restaurant servers is 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, keeping in mind that the average gratuity is 18 percent. If you’re having drinks at the bar, you should give your bartender 15 to 20 percent of your total bill as well. If you’re just having one drink, a dollar per cocktail is acceptable. Just like with restaurants, the average tip expected in a hair salon is 15 to 20 percent. If more than one person tends to your follicular needs, such one person to cut and one person to color your hair, you should split the total tip between them. The 15 to 20 percent rule also applies when receiving a manicure or massage. If you valet, the standard tip is 2 to 5 dollars, and you should tip the person who brings you your car and not the one who takes it away. And here are a few general rules to follow for tips when traveling, according to www.sheknows.com:

                   

                  • 1 to 2 dollars per bag for the sky cab at the airport.
                  • 15 to 20 percent for taxi or limo drivers.
                  • A dollar a bag for the bellhop.
                  • A dollar for the doorman who hails your cab or retrieves your car.
                  • 15 to 20 percent of the bill for room service.
                  • 2 to 5 dollars a day for housekeeping.
                  • 5 dollars for the concierge who makes a dinner reservation, 20 dollars if he/she gets you theatre tickets, and up to 25 dollars if they go above and beyond to meet your request.


                  Etiquette is also quickly evolving in the professional arena. This week’s career story has in-depth tips for staying professional at work, but just keep these basic tips in mind:


                  • Be kind to your co-workers. Avoid perfume that is too strongly scented. Roses or repugnance, no one wants to smell you eight cubicles away.
                  • Speaking of smells, sauerkraut probably isn’t the best thing to bring for lunch. Think of it this way: if your entire floor of co-workers will smell your lunch after you pop it in the microwave, don’t bring it.
                  • Don’t get too casual on Casual Friday. You’re still at work and you still need to look professional. Keep your jeans crisp, clean and untattered. Save the super casual jeans for your weekend!


                  Even with these improvements in etiquette, at least as far as we women are concerned, some basic rules have been forgotten by the last couple of generations. Things like thank you notes are always chic! Take the time to send someone a handwritten note thanking them for a gift, a kind gesture or favor they have given you. Hyde Park-based Poeme is our favorite stationery shop with the most unique cards and corporate gifts.

                  Replying to an RSVP is also always proper. If the host asks you to let her know you are coming, there’s probably a reason for it. She will need to make sure she as enough food, drinks and seating for everyone. If no one RSVPs, she will think that no one is coming. Imagine if several people plan to attend but do not let her know. There won’t be enough of her famous guacamole to go around!

                  Hosting rules have changed as well. Where several-course meals were standard and supplying your guests with soothing music on the pianoforte after the gentlemen have brandy and cigars in the library are completely outdated. Instead, intimate dinner parties with lively conversation among friends are preferred. After dinner, we keep the conversation going and entertain our guests with some party games that gets everyone involved!

                  0408OAKLEY.gif Something else that’s changed over the years is the proliferation of pets. These furry friends are now members of the family and are increasingly going everywhere humans do. Many local churches, shops and even restaurants are welcoming pets with open paws. Here are some pet etiquette – or “petiquette” – tips from Charlotte Reed, pet expert and author of The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette :
                   

                  • Call ahead: Always verify the pet policy of your destination before heading out.
                  • Travel planning: “Bring plenty of food, supplies and toys so that your pet feels comfortable. And make sure that your pet practices its best obedience,” Reed says.
                  • Keep it clean: You never know when nature will call. Come prepared with bags and disinfecting spray.

                  Of course, with the rise of electronic communication a whole new form of etiquette has emerged: netiquette.

                  Virginia Shea, the “Miss Manners” of the Internet, laid down some rules in her book “Netiquette” to help guide us in our cyberspace travels. She gives 10 core rules of netiquette:
                   

                  1. Remember the human. Keep in mind that all you and the other person see of each other are words without tone or body language. As we learned in last week’s career story, body language makes up at least 97 percent of what people think about us and what we are saying. Be mindful of what you say to others because it could be misinterpreted.
                  2. Follow the same rules online that you do in real life. Sometimes it’s easy to think that because you are faceless online that you can break rules and get away with it. While you may be right in most cases, law enforcement patrol online is getting more sophisticated. Watch any pirating and copyright rule infringement.
                  3. Know where you are in cyberspace. Shea says to “Lurk before you leap.” What she is warning against is getting into a message board or chat before knowing the ground rules. Each group will establish their own rules for what is acceptable, and it is a good idea for you to read a bit to find out what is typical behavior in the group you plan to join.
                  4. Respect others’ time and bandwidth. Remember that most people do not have an abundance of time to waste online. Things like posting threads multiple times takes them extra time to read and takes up more bandwidth and server space.
                  5. Make yourself look good online. Spelling and grammar do count. You are being judged by how well you can write your thoughts, not by how well you think on your feet, how presentable you are or any other physical feature or body language. You’ve got one way to impress your potential cyber friends and it’s with your words.
                  6. Share expert knowledge. Never be afraid to share your knowledge about a particular topic. The Internet is full of people spewing completely useless and inaccurate information. Straighten out some of the myths whenever you can.
                  7. Help keep flame wars under control. In case you don’t know, “flaming” is when someone gives a no holds barred account of exactly what they thing about something or someone, sometimes of fellow message board members. As Shea points out, these can be funny and entertaining at first, but they have a habit of turning into a flame war where two or more members are flaming each other. When that happens, it changes the entire tone of the board and makes the experience less enjoyable for the other members. Its OK to express your opinion and let someone know what you think about them, but don’t let it turn into an online shouting match.
                  8. Respect other people’s privacy. Don’t read other people’s e-mails or private information, even if they left it logged in on a computer. What’s in someone’s private or work e-mail is their business, not yours. If you find someone’s account still logged in and they’re nowhere around, do them a favor and log it out for them. What if someone started going through your private information?
                  9. Don’t abuse your power. Face it, some people have way too much computer knowledge. They can crack anyone’s password and get into anything. Or, they are an administrator of a Web site and have access to anything anyone has. If you are one of those people, even though it might be the most fun you’ve had in years, don’t take advantage of your power. Be responsible and respectable of others online.
                  10. Be forgiving of others’ mistakes. Some people, especially message board newbies, will sometimes make mistakes. Shea’s rule is to think twice before calling them out on it. If it’s a minor infraction, just let it go. However, if you do think that they need to be called out on it, don’t do it in the public forum. Send them a private message and politely explain their mistake. Let them know you aren’t trying to attack them (otherwise you could start a flame war).


                  Another new area of etiquette that is still emerging is cell phone etiquette. Just because cell phones are portable doesn’t mean they can be used anywhere! Dinner tables, cramped spaces and bathrooms are all examples of places where it is not polite to use your cell phone. It may seem like common sense not to use your phone in places such as a theater, people break the rules all the time. The best rule to follow is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you wouldn’t want to hear someone else’s conversation, don’t subject others to yours.

                  The Golden Rule doesn’t just apply to cell phone etiquette, it applies to manners across the board. With all the changes in etiquette over time, one thing remains the same: always treat others with respect.

                   

                   

                  PHOTO CREDITS:
                  Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
                  Location: Gateway Quarter
                  Model:
                  Brandi Mendoza
                  Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics

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                    How many times have you Googled a celebrity’s latest exercise trend? How many South Beach Diet or Zone books have you bought just because Jennifer Aniston or Demi Moore swear by them? And how many times have you ignored the “I think you’re beautiful” comments from your significant other, just because your abs lacked the washboard look of the models in your Victoria’s Secret catalog, or there was a bit more bounce in your backside than what’s displayed on the latest Vogue magazine?

                    We all do it. We put ourselves through a vicious cycle of self-hate, wishing we were anyone but the girl looking back at you in the mirror. Every channel we turn to or magazine we flip through is filled with beautiful women with impossibly perfect bodies. And though Hollywood is making a slight effort to give the spotlight to curvier women, the gaunt and emaciated are still all the rage in today’s media.
                    0208GIBBERMAN.gif
                     So, how can a woman see the forest through the tress and actually feel good about her body? Self-confidence fuels so many of our daily decisions. It can affect both our professional and personal lives, and without it, we usually become only a shadow of the person we could be. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips that can help you gain the confidence you need to feel comfortable with your body.

                    Tip #1 – Change the Things You Can and Learn to Accept the Things You Can’t.
                    Take a good, long, honest look at your body. Then take a good, long, honest look at the people in your family. The majority of what leads to our particular shape and size stems from genetics. Now, this doesn’t mean that just because your mother, or all of your sisters are obese there is nothing you can do to escape it. It does mean, however, that if your family is full of 5’2” tall, thickly built women with short legs, no exercise or diet in the world is going to make you a 5’10” leggy stick figure.

                     The greatest thing any woman can do for herself is try to make the best of her own shape. If what you want to change is something that really can be changed through diet and exercise, go for it. There is certainly no harm in doing a little extra cardio or a few more squats at the end of your workout. But never loose sight of the reality of with the genetics you were born with.

                    Tip #2 – Dress Like the Woman You Want to Be.
                    This is a key point. Every day I see beautiful women, hiding behind baggy sweats and t-shirts twice their size because they just don’t feel sexy enough to wear anything else. This is crazy! Every woman, yes I mean EVERY woman, has a sexy side to her. Sure, you may not have a 24-inch waist to work with, but you might have amazing legs that could take a mini-dress to an intoxicating level. Or maybe you’re a little thick on the bottom. Well, throw on
                    050508NEWBEGINNINGS.jpg some material that clings to all the right spots, and you’ve just gone from frumpy to giving Beyonce a run for her booty-licious money! Perhaps your body is on the opposite end of the spectrum, just straight up and down with nary a curve in sight. Just throw on a padded push-up bra, a waist-cinching belt and a pair of stilettos to make your calves look amazing, and suddenly you’ve gone from boyish to breathtaking! Clothing is like magic ladies. Find the right outfit and it can change your look, as well as your outlook. Check out this week’s fashion story for more wardrobe tips for challenging body types.

                     

                    Tip # 3 – You Are What You Believe You Are.
                    This tip can really be summarized in one word – confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5’10” tall and a size four, or a size 16 and pushing 5’, if you don’t believe you’re sexy, neither will anyone else. The most desired women in the world aren’t always the ones with the perfect figure. But they usually are the ones with enough confidence that they don’t need to be told they’re beautiful or sexy; they exude that knowledge in their very presence. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a bad hair day, or your skinny jeans wouldn’t fit even with a prayer and a detox diet. Walk with confidence. Believe that you’re an amazing, sensual woman, and you’ll be seen as nothing less than that.

                     Tip #4 – Make Sex Sexier for You.
                    When women don’t feel good about themselves, their sex lives are one of the first things to suffer. Because women typically are preoccupied with what they look like naked and which position makes their flaws more or less noticeable, sex often becomes more like a mind-exhausting chore than a mind-blowing sensual experience. My best advice here is to do whatever it takes to make the experience sexier for you. Whether it takes a candle lit dinner and a massage to get you there, or it’s as simple as slipping into a beautiful silk nightgown that fits your body just right, take your time and allow yourself to feel sexy. Put on the 0408OAKLEY.gifperfume, apply some lip gloss. Sometimes even engaging in more intense foreplay will make it easier to let your mind rest and your body take the control. If you can be relaxed with yourself in an intimate situation, not only will you enjoy the experience more, your partner will as well. And there is nothing sexier than a woman who knows how relax and enjoy the experience!

                    Tip # 5 –Remember, What you See isn’t Always What You Get.
                    Just for a moment, let’s get back to those people we see in the magazines and on TV. The perfect physiques, the impossibly clear skin – how do they do it? Realistically, most celebrities don’t actually look as good as you think they look. In the world of Hollywood, almost everything is either airbrushed, concealed, perfectly lit or given a special camera angle. We live in an era of special effects. It’s easy to make a short person look tall, a thick person look trim, even take 15 years off an aging face. As for the few celebrities who actually do look that amazing, let’s face it, that’s their job. They have everything from personal trainers to personal chefs to keep them looking that way. When they have a busy day, they’re not forced to cram down the quickest meal they can find while driving to their daughter’s soccer game. They usually have assistants that can run and get their green tea, blend up a protein shake and have their special Raw Food meals delivered. So try to remember this when looking in the mirror during your daily critique. If you only worked three to six months a year, had a nanny to tend to the kids and the money to pay people to help you keep your body at the peak of perfection, who knows what you would look like? Give yourself credit for even having the energy to blow dry your hair some days and realize that you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

                    Tip #6 – Start Listening to the Good Stuff.
                    Why is it that no matter how many compliments we receive in a day, it only seems to be the random insults we remember? Our partners could tell us every single night that we’re the most beautiful women they’ve ever seen, yet the only thing we remember is that one random whisper overheard from the girl down the hall, commenting on the size of your butt or how that hair color really doesn’t suit you. No matter who you are, how thin you are, how perky your breasts are or how amazing your haircut is, no one is perfect. But just like anything else in life, negative breeds negative. So try something new for a change. When someone tells you you’re beautiful, or comments on how amazing something looks on you, stop, take a deep breath and just say, “Thank you!” No need to add comments about how much weight you’ve gained recently or how the rain has made your hair go flat. No need to put that amazing compliment in the back of your mind to make room for something negative. Just enjoy the moment and know that if you weren’t all of the wonderful things that people are saying you are, they wouldn’t bother to comment at all.

                    So ladies, now it’s time to take these tips and make them work for you. No matter what your shape or size, take the time to find the things about your body that you love, and make them your focal point. And remember, sexy can come in a million different packages so wrap it up in something beautiful, hold that head up high and go show off your sexy today!
                     

                     

                    PHOTO CREDITS:
                    Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
                    Location: Gateway Quarter
                    Model:
                    Brandi Mendoza
                    Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics

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                      “Give a girl the right shoe and she’ll conquer the world.” – Bette Midler, actress

                       

                      Here’s the scene: Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones are walking down a bustling NYC street on a beautiful, sunny fall day — caught up in a heated discussion about the Raquel Welch wig line and the logistics of stalking a potentially-cheating boyfriend — when suddenly, Carrie, upon seeing this pair of pink Christian Louboutin shoes with a chiffon cascade, gasps and cooes, “…ooooooo!…hello lover!” (Click here and fast forward to 7:47 to see the scene.)

                      051208FEATURE3.jpg When millions of women around the world saw that episode of Sex and the City (SATC), titled “I Heart NY,” they instantly related with Carrie because it seemed that for the first time, someone had finally been able to succinctly articulate and artistically capture the essence of the relationship between a woman and a pair of shoes: a love affair that defies any sound human explanation.

                      This uncanny love affair and fascination women have with shoes, according to this article, turns out to be just a natural transitioning from girlhood into womanhood, “Our intimate relationship with shoes begins shortly after we learn to walk. As soon as we want to feel grown-up, we slip on a pair of our mother’s shoes, preferably high heels, instantly heightening our sense of what it means to be female. And then what happens? We grow up and get to be the same size as mummy and our personality begins to assert itself with the first independent purchase of shoes. As adults, we ask shoes to be our representatives. At any given moment, they are indicators of our age, mood and desires.”

                      There’s a saying that the eyes are the windows into one’s soul, but for many women, their souls can be seen through their soles! “For me, shoes are a fun way to express your personality and reflect your mood (Check out this week’s aurascope to learn which shoe colors and styles suit your personality the best.) They are a great way to celebrate your femininity and add some spice to any outfit! There are so many options available that include the comfort factor, as well as fun patterns, textures and colors,” says Cincy Chic‘s fashionista, Missy Scalia.

                      Another explanation for the sole addiction, and probably the most unanimous, is that shoes are very similar to pets. For no matter what shape, size or demographic, women happen to be: thick or thin, short or tall, attractive or unattractive, rich or poor, from the North or South, East or West — their shoes “love” them unconditionally and have the ability to make them feel either sexy, elegant or sporty, just with a single slip of the foot. (Click here to learn which Cincy Chic staffer has a self-admitted “shoe monster” issue.)

                      051208FEATURE2.jpg Women also gain a sense of completion or “groundedness” when they put on a pair of shoes. That’s how Jessica Andrews-Griffin, owner of Shoetopia, located in the heart of Northside, feels about her shoes, “I really believe that shoes are the foundation. Spending so much time on my feet, it’s so important to have a pair that’s well made and comfy.”

                      Andrews-Griffin took her passion for fabulous shoes and years of dreaming of owning her own boutique, and turned it into a reality, when she opened Shoetopia three years ago, “I was at a crossroads: my marketing job was getting the ax and I needed to figure out what direction I wanted my career to go in, stay in the corporate world or take an entirely different path that was risky but had the potential to be so much more emotionally rewarding and fun,” she says. “My husband and I had just recently started up a DVD rental store in Northside (Bughouse Video), so we weren’t strangers to the idea. One day I saw an empty storefront two blocks from the video store with a “space available” sign in the window…the gears in my head started cranking. I had no formal retail or shoe buying experience, so I just jumped in head first and logged tons of hours in front of the computer, researching about what it would take to make it happen, from design layout, to inventory, to staff. My ideal shoe boutique went from dream to reality in six months.”

                      The store has had a great run for the past two-and-a-half years and offers something unique from other local shoe boutiques, “Shoetopia is a destination store and also a very well-kept secret for many women, we’ve even had some customers who swear they won’t tell their friends about us so that they can have the most fun shoes all to themselves. The way we keep our selection current and fresh is to observe the fashion trends, but to not take them too seriously, we find shoes which really catch our eyes and are fashionable while functional — we don’t have a lot of 5-inch heels,” says Andrews-Griffin, “Our typical customer is generally between [the ages of] 28 and 50 and is looking for a heel that is manageable and well-made, while having some whimsy to it.”

                      Andrews-Griffin likes her shoes to have flair and an edge, “I love shoes which are unusual and flirty, but not too obviously crazy that they overpower an outfit. When I’m wearing a knockout pair of shoes it’s so empowering and a great confidence builder. Plus, I don’t have to get rid of a pair of shoes if I gain or lose five pounds!”

                      050508NEWBEGINNINGS.jpgEmerging Soles
                      According to a recent segment on the CBS Early Show, Spring 2008 brings some unusual-looking new shoe trends that include color, volume, funky styles and sculptural elements that are definitely not of seasons past. But according to the segment, one trend this season that is universal and spans all categories is color.

                      Locally, Andrews-Griffin feels that when it comes to color, green is more than just a hue-trend reference, “The biggest trend I’ve noticed in the industry that is going to just grow larger and larger is going green,” says Andrews-Griffin. “We’ve seen our veggie (no animal material) and eco-friendly (vegetable tanned leathers and renewable/recycled products) requests skyrocket since we opened and are seeing more and more options available these days. Another trend we may want to mentally prepare ourselves to is wearing tights with opened toe shoes and booties come [this] fall, these are a must have! We’re continuing to see quite a few vintage/retro styles as well, 1930s T-straps and 1970s platforms, but with superb 21st century updates with innovative heels and color choices.”

                      Andrews-Griffin shares her favorite picks of the season and translations of the latest trends that can be found at Shoetopia (and in the Webcast below):

                      1. Tsubo – Aeria (Red). “The comfiest pumps around with a 1” hidden platform, I could almost jog in these (I’m not kidding, I chase my 4-year-old around the park every week in these lovelies!). They have the bootie cut which has been a great design which will continue on at least through this winter. They dress up and down quite well.”(Editor’s note: item is currently sold out on the site.)
                      2. FarylRobin – Lola (Flesh). “Great summer d’orsay pump. Love, love, love the combination of colors/textures, nice padded footbed and cool contrasting heel color.”
                      3. Palladium – Pueblo (Black). “These are my around the house and errand shoes. Really flexible and great support.”
                      4. Jeffrey Campbell – Johnny Ex (Natural Python). “Just enough of a gladiator look without being too many straps, in my opinion. These will be my staples when the summer starts to kick in!”


                      “Last November, we decided to offer online ordering on our Web site,” says Andrews-Griffin. “Since then, we’ve been shipping like crazy all over the country. I’m personally tickled that so many women in NYC, San Francisco and L.A. order shoes online from a boutique located in Cincinnati!”
                      0208GIBBERMAN.gif
                      There’s no denying the impact SATC had on women and the shoe industry. “I’m a huge SATC fan,” exclaims Andrews-Griffin. “Looking at Carrie’s shoe collection made me feel normal! I think the show did so much to expose women to some of the great shoe designers out there, Manolo Blahnik is now a household word.”

                      With the highly anticipated SATC movie premiering on May 30, already emerging shoe trends from the taping of the movie have leaked all over the Internet and the fashion world. One trend that seems to be a frontrunner, according to all the fashion blogs, are the Dior gladiator-inspired kicks that Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie wears in multiple scenes. Scalia agrees that the trend will catch on and even found an-almost-exact replica in these “Candice” shoes from Baker.

                      Resources
                      Check out these fabulous blogs for all you would ever need to know about anything shoe related:


                      • www.shoeblog.com
                      • www.shoewawa.com
                      • www.blogcatalog.com. A one-stop, round-up of all the shoe blogs on the Net and the trends for 2008.
                      • www.endless.com. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, was recently on The Martha Stewart Show and when asked by an audience member what is the best selling product on Amazon.com, he said that shoes have become such a hot-ticket item that they had to start a site dedicated “solely!” to shoes.
                      • Vegan Shoes. Being a compassionate and ethically conscience shoephile is possible! Check out this site for a listing of companies that sell only animal-friendly and cruelty-free shoes.
                      • www.tecasan.com. Actress Natalie Portman is not only beautiful, chic and talented, she’s also a vegan! Check out her fantastic vegan shoe collection that offers a great humane selection without compromising quality or style.

                      Just for Fun
                      Here are some notable celebrity shoe-related quotes:

                      “My name is Sarah Jessica, and I own well over 100 pairs of Manolo Blahniks.”
                      – Sarah Jessica Parker

                      “I own one pair of Prada shoes. They make my feet hurt…It’s not the shoes’ fault; they are exquisitely made. I blame my feet. I’ve got my mother’s feet.” – Meryl Streep

                      “I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.”
                      – Oprah Winfrey

                      “I can be in the dumps of dumpsters and go buy a new pair of shoes, and then it’s okay. Even if it’s just for the time being, for that moment it’s what I need.”
                      – Britney Spears

                      “To me, shoes are like pizza: There is no bad shoe.” – Kelly Ripa

                      “The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.”
                      – Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in the episode “A Woman’s Right to Shoes.

                      “I have never been able to study a new role until, alongside the director, we choose the shoes which the woman we are about to bring to the screen will be wearing. Everything starts down there.” – Penelope Cruz

                      “I’m obsessed with shoes. I must have hundreds of pairs. I’m a shoe fiend. That reminds me, I need to go shopping!”; “I see a pair of shoes I adore, and it doesn’t matter if they have them in my size. I buy them anyway,”  – Keira Knightley


                      Click here or on the play button below to see a Webcast of Andrews-Griffin at Shoetopia.
                       

                       

                       

                       

                       


                       
                      PHOTO CREDITS:
                      First Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
                      Location: Gateway Quarter
                      Model:
                      Amber Bennett
                      Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics
                       
                      Third Photo: Maureen Jacob
                      Location: Shoetopia in Northside
                      Model: Jessica Andrews-Griffin, owner of Shoetopia