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Authors Posts by Amy Scalia

Amy Scalia

Amy Scalia
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Publisher & CEO - Amy Scalia, a Cincinnati native, is the editor in chief and publisher of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at ascalia@cincychic.com. From growing up in the cornfields of Harrison and getting a Mass Communications B.A. degree in the bubble of Oxford, to living on the NKY side of the river in Newport and then Ft. Thomas, Amy Scalia has embraced Cincinnati with her presence. Her major life accomplishments include: being a mom of two girls and a boy, a 2010 "40 Under 40" recipient from the Cincinnati Business Courier, winning the "Best New Product/Service of the Year" Award from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and a national Web-writing award from ASHPE in 2007, a national feature writing award from ASBPE in 2006, and running three Flying Pig Marathons.

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We're heading to Anderson for breathtaking views and spacious living in this week's Listing of the Week!

Check out this gorgeous 2-story traditional home that boasts architectural details and custom touches. The home features amazing river views from the open, bright interior. There is a gourmet kitchen that opens to breakfast and family rooms. There is a spacious master suite and a lower level that features a media room, bar, and exercise room. The backyard is surrounded by woods. The home is 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms in 6,433 square feet and listed at $995,000.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

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 Photo by Matthieu A / License

Mind sports are based on intellectual ability rather than physical ability. Unlike physical sports, mind sports do not require the physical strength, agility or hand-eye coordination that traditional sports require. They do, however, demand strategy, skill and practice. 

While some mind sports enthusiasts prefer silence over sound, others have found that certain types of music enhance (rather than breaks) their focus. In fact, silence can be very distracting for some. That is why you may have heard people say the words, “It’s too quiet in here.”

Besides serving as a source of personal enjoyment, some say music has positive scientific effects on the brain. The “Mozart Effect” is a term that was coined to describe classical music having the ability to enhance one’s intelligence. Some research also suggests that listening to music while studying helps people better retain information.

If you have never tried listening to music while doing a focus-oriented activity, such as mind sports, it may be time to give it a shot.

Deciding on the type of music you should listen to while engaging in mind sports largely depends on which one you are playing. Here are some tips for building the perfect playlist tailored to your game of choice. 

Photo by jeshoots.com / License

Chess: Take a strategic musical approach

Brainwave Power Music created a special Chess playlist on YouTube, filled with binaural beats. Binaural beats are a form of music therapy. They are said to induce positive neurological side effects – including relaxation, meditation, pain management and, apparently, chess-playing abilities.

The science behind binaural beats centers around sound wave frequencies. BPM’s playlist features tracks with beta waves ranging from 11-15Hz, which is said to improve focus, attentive abilities, active thought processes, concentration and intelligence. Simultaneously, BPM goes on to say that the carrier frequency of 144.72 Hz supports strength of will, focused energy and achievement. 

Some musicians to check out for binaural beats are Noah Hornberger, I-Doser Labs and Brainwave-Sync.

Poker: Easy does it

Like Chess, Poker is an intellectually challenging sport that requires constant strategic thinking. The stakes can be high when you are playing this classic competitive card game and the atmosphere can be a factor in your performance. Choosing the right music to create an ambiance that stimulates your brain will help make you more likely to play your cards right. 

Calming, slow-paced instrumental music is popular among Poker players. Because words can compete for your focus, choosing purely instrumental options is a good strategy if you are easily side-tracked. Classical and jazz are ideal genres.

If you prefer music with words, choosing songs with lyrics that are not in your native language may be a good choice. You will still enjoy the vernacular, but will not be able to make out discernible words and thoughts. For English-speaking players, the French Cafe Radio station on Pandora is one to check out, as it has easy-listening music au français. 

eSports: Spotify can help

The ideal musical genre for playing eSports is as diverse as the types of games that exist. So, if you are playing a game centered around warfare, something that matches that energy (such as heavy metal) could be your best bet. Upbeat electronic dance music (EDM) can also give you an energetic jolt while putting you in the zone – or a focused head space. 

When playing something less extreme, such as golf, you probably will not gravitate toward tracks that sound like DJ club music. Something more low-key would better suit the situation.

If you need help deciding which gaming music will work best for you, Spotify can help. The music platform incorporated a gaming category that can be accessed by navigating to Browse > Genres and Moods > Gaming. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for mixing tunes and mind sports. A trial and error factor definitely exists, so determining which genre will work best for you may require some experimentation. Use these suggestions as a helpful place to start. 

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It's modern, chic and completely upgraded, but secluded, cozy and dream-home-worthy. Keep reading as we take you inside this week's Listing of the Week!

This stunning 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom California-contemporary home underwent a top-to-bottom remodel in 2017. It has a private/wooden Grandin Gold Coast location. The walls of glass bring the outdoors in. The kitchen is everyone homeowners dream and every room is the home is just as beautiful as the last. 

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.
 

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Women now own and run almost  13 million businesses in the US. As well as becoming successful sole proprietors, many have grown their business and are now also responsible for supporting over 9 million jobs. Ohio features in the top ten of best states for women to  set up a successful business, and it is becoming easier to create a startup or launch a new enterprise. However, as your company prospers, you will be looking beyond simply sustaining the initial success and will, in addition, be thinking about taking on new staff and moving to larger premises. This can take time and effort but the rewards are well worth it. 
 
 
 
Investing in Employees
 
As your business becomes more successful, there will come a time when you need to start sharing the workload.  Taking on staff is a major responsibility, and it is estimated that hiring an employee can require up to £4,000 in recruitment and training costs. Of course, by taking the time to properly prepare and integrate suitable new staff to your business, these costs will be recovered through increased revenue. Another added responsibility that must not be overlooked is  workers comp insurance. As well as giving you and your employees peace of mind, like any business insurance, this could save you money in the long run.
 
 
 
Making Room for Success
 
Finding premises for your expanding business can be daunting. If you’ve been working alone at home and don’t feel that you are ready to take on the responsibility of your own office, start by  sharing a co-working space where you can network, meet potential new employees, and continue to grow your business until you are ready to move. The eventual location of your new premises will depend not only on your budget but the nature of your business. A  prominent and credible address with parking nearby is preferable if you expect clients to visit you at your office. If the premises are just for the use of your employees, you will still need to ensure that the location is convenient and safe for them, and will not be off putting for potential new recruits in the future. 
 
 
 
After the initial excitement of setting up a successful new business, ensuring that it is not only sustainable but ready for expansion takes time and effort. However by being prepared to take on extra responsibilities and invest in well-trained staff and premises suited to your needs, you will soon reap the rewards of a flourishing business. 

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You don't want to miss the breathtaking gardens of this suburban Cincinnati home on a sprawling estate!

Affectionately known as The Manor House, this palatial country estate was custom-designed by the owner alongside Steinkamp Architects. The home is situated in a green belt community, and is spacious and well-appointed. It boasts gathering spaces, fireplaces, porches, and an octagonal study with views of gardens that have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine!

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

 

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Need design, home improvement, or party hosting ideas? Cincy Home Chic Home has it all! Click to check out this month's recap!

Here’s a recap of what you can find on our new site, Cincy Home Chic Home, this month!:

Decor Ideas: 
Mirrored Cabinets 
Timeless with a Touch of Pink
Contrasting Elements
Word Art

Real Estate Tips:
Why Does It Take So Long to Build a Home?

Listing of the Week: 
9827 Kensington Lane
422 Stanley

 

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The best home lighting balances function with form for maximum comfort and style. The key to achieving this is ambient lighting. It provides a room with general lighting and sets the mood. Ambient lighting requires the right fixtures and placement location. With this lighting type, even the darkest room can be turned into a bright and lively space. As long as the proper techniques are implemented, you can create your desired look. 

Choosing Your Lights

Ambient lighting should be soft, warm, and provide enough light to safely navigate a space. This requires multiple light sources. Wall lights are great for ambient lighting. If the fixture is wired into the wall is considered direct-wire and requires electrical experience to install. Wall lights are controlled by either a built-in switch or a separate wall switch. If you’re on a budget or want to avoid the hassle of wiring, then opt for plug-in lights. This less expensive option plugs directly into an existing outlet. However, their exposed cord can be an eyesore. Direct-wire wall lights are best when the fixtures are part of a room’s general lighting. Use plug-in lights if you plan on using the lights on their own.

A wall sconce sits close to the wall and offers many styles that emit light differently. Some shine light upwards to illuminate the space or downward to accent specific areas. Swing-arm wall lights are adjustable space-saving fixtures that extend from the wall. Install them bedside to have task lighting for nighttime reading in bed.

Increase your ambient lighting with table and floor lamps. Make sure table lamps are proportional to the table for best results. The bottom of the lamp shade must be at eye level to protect your eyes from direct light. The shade must be 2/3 the lamp base height and 1 ½ the lamp base width. This is not a hard and fast rule since lamp design will impact measurements. Recessed lighting is commonly used for ambient lighting or to supplement natural light. Space recessed lighting on the ceiling according to its height for evenly distributed lighting.

Bright Lighting

If you have a dimly lit room, take advantage of any natural light. The best lighting is in rooms with south-facing windows. East and west-facing windows provide adequate natural light. Supplemental artificial light sources are required in north-facing rooms. Place mirror across from a window so it reflects the natural light and increases illumination.  

Considers the light reflectance value (LRV) of your wall paint. This measurement shows how much light the paint reflects which helps in determining the best paint hue for the room. This is especially important for windowless rooms or rooms with minimal natural light. The lighter the paint color, the brighter the room. Glossy surfaces and other reflective material will also boost illumination.

Atmosphere

So, now that you know how to create ambient lighting, it’s time to control room mood. Fixture position, light output, and bulb type determines the overall look and feel of the room. These factors allow you to personalize your space.

Accent lighting

Use accent lighting as a focal point to create visual interest or direct it towards specific areas. Recessed spotlights, track lights, sconces, uplights, table lamps, and floor lamps are accent lighting options. Light output is 3 times the room’s normal light level. Highlight artwork by pointing lights at a 30 degree angle towards it. Try wall washing and flood the wall with light. Install multiple accent lights in linear fashion on the ceiling 2-3ft from the wall and point them towards the opposite wall. Extend the distance to 3 to 4 ft on higher ceilings. If you want to illuminate textural surfaces, then install a row of track lights or recessed lights 6 to 12 ft opposite the wall you’re accenting.

Color temperature

Your bulb choice depends on the mood you want to create. Bulbs have color temperatures that range from warm to cool light. This is measured in Kelvins where warm temperatures have a yellowish hue, while cool temperatures create a blue lighting effect. The lower the temperature, the warmer the bulb light. A color temperature of 2700K emits soft warm lighting. For a balanced blend of temperatures, use 3500K. Lighting resembling daylight, requires a cool temperature of 4000K. This is ideal for rooms regularly used during the day. Many typically choose color temperatures in the 2900K to 3200K range. The temperature should match your home style. Traditional homes look best with warm colors similar to incandescent or candlelight. Cooler temperatures with whiter light pair complement modern styles. 

Bulbs

Brighter lighting enhances productivity. Increase ambient lighting in task areas, such as the kitchen, living room, and home office. Opt for soft white bulbs over clear or colored. LEDs are best for energy-efficient, bright white light. Plus, they have a long lifespan. Though these bulbs are expensive upfront, they save you money in the long-run. A less expensive option are low-voltage bulbs, followed by the Halogen MR16 bulb. However, if you’re looking for an energy-efficient, cost-effective, bright light source that emits very little heat, fluorescent lights are it. Once considered a light to avoid, advanced technology has substantially improved its performance. These bulbs now come in various styles, not just the long tubing. Consider glare when you choose your bulbs. Lower the wattage if the light is too harsh. 

Lighting control

Attach dimmers to all lighting fixtures to control light intensity and mood. There are various dimmers styles available, such as toggle, rotary dial, and touch sensitive. Keep in mind, lights must be dimmable. Another option is lamps with three-way bulbs which let you adjust lighting levels. Separate the lighting into different zones so you can control multiple locations individually. Add perimeter lights to a designated zone and put them on a separate circuit. That way, you can adjust light reflection with greater precision.

Customized ambient lighting provides ultimate comfort. Think about factors that impact the amount of light you need, such as age, health, and eye color. If your lights are direct-wire, check building codes first. Consult a lighting expert for help with developing a lighting plan. As long as you apply the tips above you can have your desired atmosphere at any time.

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We're giving you majestic views of the river, city, and park in this week's Listing of the Week!

This beautiful home features stunning panoramic river, city, and park views. There is an exceptional grand rooftop terrace in the Platinum LEED residence, which is perfect for small or large group entertaining. The home is supremely appointed with fine luxury craftsmanship and details. Features 6,000 square feet, an elevator, 3-car garage, 2-off street spaces. The home is low maintenance living and amazing. The 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom home is priced at $2.69 million.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

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A former carriage house turned historic estate is featured in this week's Listing of the Week!

The carriage house to the original estate home on Grandin Place. Over 5,000 square feet! Wooden beamed ceilings (11), Italian marble floors, Versailles patterned parquet wood floors, grand entertaining space! First floor master suite, walkout finished lower level, brick patios. Extra large rooms, very special one-of-a-kind! Agent is owner and has listed the 4 bedroom, 6 bathroom home for $1.425 million.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

 

 

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