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Ann Young, owner of Whole Step Wellness

Ann Young has always had a personal passion for being healthy and fit. But it took 20 stressful years in the corporate world – and losing her father – to realize she wanted to pursue a profession in the health and wellness industry.


“I understand all too well the many demands and stresses placed on us when working long hours and unpredictable schedules,” Young says, “and the hazardous toll those stresses take not only on us, but also on the health and wellbeing of our spouses and children.”


Today, she is the owner of Whole Step Wellness, a Cincinnati-based company offering a unique array of holistic health, nutrition and life counseling programs. Young is also a Certified Personal Trainer, with a personal fitness certification through the International Sports Sciences Association.


During her training, she studied more than 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. Her teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.


“My education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health,” Young explains. “Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.”


According to Young, she’s most passionate about working with clients to achieve results they never imagined possible. She does this through customized programs, individual health coaching, corporate wellness seminars, workshops, personal training and nutrition coaching.


“I take great pride in coaching, guiding and motivating clients to successfully maintain those results,” she adds. “I will help you create a completely personalized ‘roadmap to health’ that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.”


Are you curious about how health coaching can help you? Click here to learn more, watch the exclusive webcast below, and email Young for a free initial consultation!


This is a paid advertising supplement, paid for by Whole Step Wellness

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 A wedding set designed at Krombholz Jewelers

While it seems like you can look at all of the letters and numbers related to the diamond’s grade and find the best value for your money, it often comes down to the old saying about “You get what you pay for.” I work with thousands of clients each year interested in buying diamonds, but recently, I’ve noticed quite a bit of confusion related to diamond grading certificates and the related diamond prices. So, for this column, I’ll offer a few tips to help clear the confusion. Keep reading for some secrets to making sense out of modern day diamond buying.


The Cut. Most people have heard of the “4 Cs” – cut, clarity, color and carat weight – but did you know the cutting quality of the diamond is the most important of the four characteristics? It’s also the hardest diamond quality characteristic to explain. The diamond industry used, until recently, a proportion standard for the round brilliant cut that was developed in the early 1900s. GIA disproved this standard with its new system for cut grading round brilliant beginning January 1, 2006. The GIA cut grading standards are based on their comprehensive study of 20,000 proportions with 70,000 observations of 2,000 diamonds. The descriptive words used to describe their cut grades are as follows: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. This system more closely approximates the quantity of light returned to the eye. As in the first secret above explaining that all certificates are not equal .This is particularly true when comparing a GIA or AGS cut grade to other certificates cut grades.

 fluorescence is a natural characteristic in diamonds

Grading. Not all diamond grading certificates are created equal. The two most accurate diamond grading certificates are GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and AGS (American Gem Society). These two certifying agencies tend to be considered the “Gold Standard” in which others are compared. If you are buying a diamond without a grading certificate or one from another certifying agency, always use a GIA or AGS certified diamond as a comparison. It is common for the other most common diamond certificate to be two or three grades off of the actual grade. That means that an EGL certified G color and SI1 clarity might actually be an I or J color and an I1 using GIA standards.


Depth. The depth of a diamond in comparison to its width and the thickness of the girdle (outer edge of a diamond) is an important measurement. Round diamonds tend to be the most popular shape and .75 carat to 1 carat is the most popular in weight. A one carat round diamond should measure 6.5 millimeter in diameter. It is common that the less expensive 1 carat diamonds measure 6.2 to 6.3mm across; this measurement compares to a well cut .90 carat diamonds. So that good deal on a 1 carat looks like that less expensive .90 carat diamond. The girdle thickness can also make a big difference the weight versus scale equation. Watch for thick and very thick girdle. With the said, you should also be aware that a very thin girdle edge can create a durability issue. These thin edged diamonds are easily chipped on their edges.

 measurements of depth

Fluorescence. This is a natural characteristic that the diamond actually glows under an ultraviolet light. Some fluorescence does not affect the beauty of the diamond and can actually make the diamond look higher in color. The danger is: too much fluorescence might create an oily or hazy appearance. The diamond industry discounts all diamonds with fluorescence, so those with faint or medium fluorescence can be a slightly better value.


Buy Unset. I strongly recommend that you look at all diamonds you are considering to buy while they are unset, with at least one GIA graded diamond to compare to, while using gemological microscope. Following these guidelines, and with the help of a diamond professional, you can safely buy a diamond that you can enjoy for a lifetime!


Editor’s Note: This is a paid advertising supplement, paid for by Krombholz Jewelers

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Cincinnati is well on its way to becoming one of the fastest growing polo playing centers of the Midwest. This wouldn’t be an unfamiliar title to the area, though.


In fact, Mason was once the heart of the horse-mounted sport. According to Paul D’Souza, a member of the Cincinnati Polo Club (CPC), the Wilkens family had 100 aces of land in Mason, on which CPC members convened and enjoyed their sport for years. But Mason’s residential and commercial expansion led the Wilkens to sell their land, on which the Polo Grille now stands to pay homage to CPC.


It’s more than just a sport, adds D’Souza, it’s a lifestyle – its a lot of fun and has a stylish element to it. It’s like stepping back in time to “The Great Gatsby” days, says D’Souza. From haute couture hats and gala gowns to the shirts and styles that made Ralph Lauren famous, this is one of the most stylish sports around, D’Souza says, and it’s one to be experienced by everyone. “Polo is a family sport, a social sport and once you join, it’s like one big family,” he adds.


“At one time, we had as many as three teams in Cincinnati, when playing on Mason Montgomery Road,” says D’Souza. “You can see photos of our history at the Polo Grille – they are a big supporter of ours even today.”


The Wilkens family later purchased more than 60 acres in Goshen, named it “Wilshire Farm,” and began creating a new home for polo in the Tri-State. In 2009, they corralled the help of five CPC members to reinstate the club, the local polo community and Cincinnati’s love for the sport. Now there are 13 members.


Currently, Wilshire Farm has a large indoor arena perfect for year-round equine activity, and just laid ground for an outdoor polo field that will be ready for summer of 2013.


“We are growing and have tremendous opportunities for men and women from 14-65 or older to play with us,” D’Souza says. There are several clinics, too, to help anyone from the beginner to an expert learn more about the sport. In fact, they have one of the only mechanical horses in North America on which to learn the basics. “This helps you learn the basics of the sport without injuring a horse or yourself,” explains D’Souza. “We also have an expert on-staff to help review and perfect your equitation and polo swing.”


Club members are all ages and skill levels, with playing experience ranging from 6 months to more than 25 years. D’Souza says all are welcome to visit, watch and give polo a try. Practices are held each Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoons when games aren’t scheduled.


If you’d like to watch a practice or try playing, contact: Frank Wilkens at (513) 252-6013 or


The home game scheduled at Miami Meadows this summer:
August 4: Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis
August 11: Cincinnati vs. Darlington
September 15: Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis


Watch the below webcast with Cincinnati Polo Club members to learn more.

Editor’s Note: This is a paid advertising supplement, paid for by the Cincinnati Polo Club.

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“PNC has always been there for me. When I need something, my banking team comes to meet with me to discuss solutions. PNC is clearly dedicated to my success.” -Van Ai Chou, Mark Pi’s China Gate, Manager


Embarking upon a Courageous Journey


Ask Van Ai (Karen) Chou about taking the risk of moving from a waitress position to buying her own restaurant, and she smiles politely. It was a risk, of course, buying a restaurant with virtually no clientele and having limited business management experience, but Karen has taken much larger leaps in her life.


Born in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, Karen came to the United States as a refugee in 1979, after North Vietnam took over South Vietnam. Only 16 years old, she bravely took her place among family and neighbors in a boat headed toward freedom. Rescued at sea by the crew of a Taiwanese fishing boat, Karen and the others were taken to a temporary refugee camp in Hong Kong. Shortly after, friends helped her relocate to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she lived until 1985.


“I moved to Middletown, Ohio, and took a waitressing job at Mark Pi’s China Gate restaurant,” says Karen. Mark Pi’s is a chain of 20 independently owned and operated full-service restaurants in Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia under the Asian Concepts Inc. brand.


“In addition to waitressing, I managed the restaurant with my husband, David, on the owner’s days off. We decided we would like to manage our own restaurant, so in 1987, when the vice president of Mark Pi’s offered us the opportunity to buy the China Gate restaurant in Zanesville, we didn’t hesitate.”


Challenges Give Way to Success


When Karen and David purchased the restaurant, it was in poor condition and business was so slow that it quickly became clear that the couple would be unable to make the monthly mortgage payments. “Mr. Pi wanted to close the restaurant, but we were confident we could turn it around,” says Karen. “I talked him into giving us a few more months, and David, my mother, my sister Binh and I went to work.”


Karen began cutting labor costs by eliminating the waiter’s morning shift and doing all of the cleaning and set-up labor herself. She and her family also worked to improve food quality and customer service. Mark Pi helped by hosting luncheons with city officials to encourage word-of-mouth promotion for the restaurant. Within three months, word had gotten around that China Gate had excellent food and service, and Karen’s clientele began to grow. Today, her restaurant is one of Zanesville’s most highly regarded businesses.


Karen has counted on PNC for support since opening the doors to her restaurant more than 20 years ago. “PNC has always been there for me,” she says. “When I need something, my banking team comes to meet with me to discuss solutions. PNC is clearly dedicated to my success.”


Editor’s Note: This is a paid advertising supplement, paid for by PNC Bank.

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This ring illustrates both carving and milgraining

On a search to define “vintage,” you’ll find many definitions that pertain to wine. “The class of a dated object with reference to era of production or use…” and “…representing the high quality of a past time.” But the same can be said about jewelry.


We use the word “vintage” relating to jewelry mostly in reference to the style. Vintage jewelry contains details that would be similar to those seen in period or antique jewelry. Reproducing these vintage details in modern jewelry represent hours of handwork, many of which are produced using the exact same tools as they were 100 years ago.


The most common styles found in current vintage bridal jewelry would be reminiscent of jewelry produced from 1900 through the 1940s.


Although we occasionally make this jewelry in yellow or rose gold, it’s most commonly made in white metals (platinum and white gold). Terminology of this jewelry making technique often includes: milgrain (the beaded outside edge), pave or beadsetting (the way the diamonds are set using small beads to hold the diamonds), filigree, hand carving and engraving.


The pave, pronounced “pah-vay,” setting is a style of diamond setting where multiple rows of small diamonds are set close together held in place by small beads of metal. This style of setting can be found in jewelry going back into the late 1800s, but did not become very common until the 1920s.


Filigree is fine pierced detail. When this was done in the early 1900s, it was often pierced by hand. Today, this detail can often be accomplished using computer design.


Hand carving and hand engraving is a common detail in vintage jewelry. This is also something that can be imitated using computer design.


Krombholz Jewelers is unique in this region by offering a broad range of antique vintage jewelry as well as hand created modern vintage jewelry. Using computer aided design and computer aided machining and a high level of old world skills, we’re able to creatively custom create vintage design to our customers specification. To learn more about us, our jewelry, techniques, and custom designs, visit


Watch the webcast below to see examples of key ingredients in a recipe for vintage jewelry!


Editor’s Note: This is a paid advertising supplement, paid for by Krombholz Jewelers.

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Amy Scalia’s before (left) and after (right – with light mascara) photos from Latisse use

On my lifelong quest for amazing lashes, I decided to enlist the help of Latisse. I’ve tried just about everything… I’ve tried the mascara that claims to make your lashes grow longer, the Beauty Society Enormous Lash serum and even eyelash extensions.


The mascara didn’t work, the Enormous Lash kind of worked, and the eyelash extensions definitely worked (you just had to be really careful with them, and the application/upkeep was a too time-consuming for me to stay committed). I had tried Latisse before – I was given a small sample to try by a client – but stopped after a week because I got scared by the “possible brown spot side effect” warning.


But I happened to be talking with one of my other clients – Face and Eye Aesthetic Center – and Latisse came up. I mentioned that I was surprised that Claire Danes replaced Brooke Shields as the spokeswoman for Latisse because she has blue eyes. The doc in the meeting, Dr. Nerad, explained that the brown spot side effect is actually really uncommon and it occurs when people use it for a super extended amount of time.


Apparently Latisse was discovered as a lash-growing wonder-drug from its days as a prescription for glaucoma patients. They started to come back with super long lashes on the eye that was being treated. So, researchers looked into it, found that it did have this randomly desirable side effect, and rebranded it as “Latisse.”


Long story short – when patients use it for glaucoma, which can be for years or even decades, they’re applying this product on the same spot every single day. Some people get some pigmentation after a while, but the doc said it’s a very long while and I truly most likely have nothing to worry about … unless I get super addicted to Latisse and decide to use it for the rest of my life. Which actually might happen because I’m loving it.


The process is pretty simple to get started on Latisse. I like going to Face & Eye, not only because I know and trust them, but also because they have Dr. Nerad there who is an ophthalmologist. You can get a prescription for Latisse from just about any doctor, but there’s something about getting it from an doctor who specializes in eyes. It was much more comforting to start this process through him. He even did an eye exam to make sure my eyes were in good health prior to letting me start Latisse!


I’ve been using Latisse for a few months now, and I just have to tell you this is one of the most – if not the most – effective products I’ve ever used. My lashes have definitely grown in long and thick. In fact, I just went on a cruise with my mom and I barely wore any mascara the whole trip! It was so nice to roll out of bed and look wide awake without even putting on makeup. Most days, I’d put on a bathing suit and sunscreen and head out. Usually on vacation, I’d put some waterproof mascara on just to look awake since my lashes were light. But I didn’t need to on this trip!


Now that I’m back to the real world (you know, where bathing suits aren’t acceptable daily attire), I find myself just putting on a quick swipe of mascara and that’s all I need. It’s so nice! According to Dr. Nerad, my lashes aren’t done growing either! I still have several weeks left of my treatment! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress on my blog, but so far so good!


Watch the webcast below as I talk with Dr. Nerad about Latisse and the other products and services offered at the Face and Eye Aesthetic Center.


Editor’s Note: This is a paid advertising supplement, paid for by the Face and Eye Aesthetic Center.

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And they’re off! Keeneland’s recent opening weekend was a huge success, but that’s just scratching the surface of all the fun to come. From Keeneland and the Oaks to specialty events such as Breakfast with the Works, and a James Beard Dinner in June at Donamire Farm – the bluegrass is abuzz with fun events and festivities!

The best way to keep up with all the action? Sign up for the Bluegrass Exclusive Register, your source for entertainment in Lexington and Berea, KY. Bluegrass Exclusive was created by Group CJ, a Lexington-based marketing firm, and brought to you by the Berea Tourism Commission, the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Keeneland Association.

The Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Berea Tourism Council united to package select attractions in their regions of appeal to a particular leisure traveler (aka you!). Then they pooled their dollars to reach a particular traveler more effectively and frequently than if each were working solo. This year, they’re welcoming their good friends at Keeneland.

They’re giving away four Clubhouse Passes for this spring’s Keeneland Meet to one lucky participant who signs up for the Bluegrass Exclusive Register. “The Clubhouse is a real experience and must-do in Bluegrass Country,” says Nancy Diedrichs, creative director and broadcast producer at Group CJ. “Super elegant dining rooms, old-fashioned bar, view of the racetrack from the front and the horses being saddles in the paddock from the back, everyone is dressed to the nines, fancy hats – some celebrities often show!”

The Bluegrass Exclusive website and emails include exclusive invites, insider tips, upcoming event alerts and helpful sites. As a subscriber of the Register, you’ll receive all this and more!

To learn more, visit To join the register (and enter to win those Clubhouse tickets!) click here

Editor’s Note: This is a paid advertising supplement, paid for by Bluegrass Exclusive.

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102411ADVERTORIALwithcred.jpg"People just don’t know what I am about and people can’t see behind my smile there is much more to me than I am showing now these are pieces of me." – Ledisi

Character, courage and gumption are unique attributes of many Cincinnati women, but for Yvette Simpson these are words that explain her life.

Simpson’s gumption prompted her to run for Cincinnati City Council. "The City of Cincinnati has the opportunity to be so much greater than it is now and we need leadership to move the city forward," the West End resident said. "We need someone who can bridge the gap that divides city council right now and I hope to be that bridge." She added, "It would be awesome to have a female majority on council. Just think of what we could accomplish."

But Simpson understands that this endeavor is not an easy and comes with many challenges and perceived expectations. On the campaign trail she is finding that she has to work hard to alter the stereotypes that associated with a female African-American political candidate.

"I think we still battle the traditional stereotypes, which is really hard to help people break from. While I don’t find being a single woman in the political arena is exceptionally tough, I think that there is still that expectation that all women are wives and mothers," Simpson said.

"Many people see me as a mother figure, but I don’t see it," Simpson said. Her family is very proud that she is running for City Council though her father jokingly said that this was another thing standing in the way of getting grandchildren. "They are very proud of me," Simpson said.

Simpson jokes about not having a husband or kids, but she keeps her hands full directing the Pre-Law Program at Miami University, which she help to create. In 2007, Simpson left the law firm of Keating, Muething & Klekamp PLL to develop the program for the university.

This modern woman who loves sweater sets, colorful business clothes and stylish fashions is always looking for progressive ways to help improve the city and its diverse neighborhoods, and to help young people and the business community. These endeavors help Simpson stand out from the rest of candidates seeking a seat on City Council.

Simpson is a Cincinnati success story. She grew up in Lincoln Heights, and was the first in her family to graduate from college and become a lawyer. All along the way she has been helped and mentored which is why she is working so hard to give back to the community and help move Cincinnati forward.

Planting the seeds for the city’s future begins with being involved, participating in community affairs and not being afraid to mix and mingle with Cincinnati’s diverse population. "Cincinnati is a great place to live, especially downtown. I love the energy and the diversity. There are a lot of things to do," she said.

Those meeting Simpson on the campaign trail at first glimpse see a fashionably stylish woman with a nice smile, but don’t let that fool you. "People either tell me that I am not tough enough, that I should more aggressive, more assertive, or they find me very intelligent and intimidating. But everyone soon realizes that I am just a regular person who is able to navigate in many circles and who believes in the best of everyone.

The hard-knocks of life helped to develop Simpson’s gumption and as she navigates the city’s political waters she said she will not be sacrificing her style or her sense of self to fit what someone believes what leaders should be.

So, it’s up to you – the fashionista readers of Cincy Chic – to decide which outfit best suits Yvette, her platform and her personality. Click here to visit the "Candidate Couture" photo album on our Facebook page and "like" the outfit you like best. One participant will receive a style consultation with Amy Hendy. This package includes a 2-hour in-home style consultation with Amy. Amy will review the winner’s closet, suggesting pieces that would update her wardrobe, and assist her in creating different looks from her current wardrobe. The consultation is valued at $100. In addition, if the winner decides to purchase pieces to accentuate her current wardrobe, Yvette will contribute $25 towards the her clothing order from the Etcetera line.

This is a paid advertising supplement paid for by Citizens for Yvette Simpson, Rhys Reynolds, Treasurer, 2 Garfield Place, Suite 300C, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Cincy Chic does not endorse any political candidate or political organization, and the views expressed in this communication do not constitute an endorsement.

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Keep reading as we learn what makes life a little easier for a local mom and her kiddos with special needs.

Janis and her daughter, who attends ABC Pediatric Therapy.


What one “mom chore” would you forever outsource if you could? 
Janis: Scheduling appointments, and getting them in all in one day. Between three kiddos with special needs, we rarely get a day to just chill at home.

What activities are you and your kids into right now?
Janis: Swimming, dancing, and playing outside 

What is your favorite local dining spot near(or in) Hyde Park?
Janis: Arthur’s. Great burgers and atmosphere. 

Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Janis: Lucas, 15, Sage, 9, and Maris, 2 

What would you like others to know about your child with special needs?
Janis: That they all have their differences but those differences have taught me to be compassionate, patient, and how to advocate for them.

What advice would like to give other parents in the Hyde Park and surrounding areas about ABC Pediatric Therapy?
Janis: We’ve been going to therapy since my oldest was 2. We only recently found ABC in the past couple years and it has been a Godsend. It’s so fun for the kids! The therapists really care about our children and my kids can’t wait to go to ABC. My youngest asks for ABC almost daily. That really says something. 

What is one wish you have for your child’s future?
Janis: To live a pain-free life full of opportunity.


This is a special advertising supplement paid for by ABC Pediatric Therapy Network.

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Whether it’s for your Valentine or Galentine, your kiddos or your own sweet tooth, we checked out the sweetest shop in town for ideas on how to spread the love this week.

Valentine’s Day might be Feb. 14, but it’s a week-long celebration at Gigi’s Cupcakes! 
“We do Valentine’s Day gifts all week long,” says Amy Jones, owner of Gigi’s Cupcakes – Cincinnati.  “Our treats are made daily in our Kenwood shop with lots of love and care.”
The in-store menu offers a selection of both classic and seasonal cupcakes, minis and cakes. Each cupcake is topped high with those Gigi’s Signature Icing swirls. Always gluten friendly options too! “We’ll have a lot of flavors to choose from,” Jones adds, “even if you forget to order ahead of time.”
They have several different Valentine’s Day themed cupcakes you can pre-order that come in a 4-box or a dozen. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day party or just bringing home to surprise the family!
Gigi’s Cupcakes is located at 7940 Hosbrook Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45243. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm. Learn more by visiting their website or checking them out on Facebook.

Photos: Twin Spire Photography

This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by Gigi’s Cupcakes – Cincinnati.