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Cincy Chic Staff

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Summer is right around the corner. What better way to get ready for the hot summer nights ahead than to spice up your wardrobe for a night out on the town dancing?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a dancer or a novice; wearing the right clothing that fits your style and body type makes you feel like moving with confidence and adds swing to your step that will make you want to get out on the dance floor.

You don’t have to go out and buy a new wardrobe to make a change. Buy a few essential items, add accessories and the stage is yours. Here are a few sizzling style trends:

Black and White: The graphics have it. From easy solids to bolder prints, this style is sure to be a hit no matter what your wallet says. Move from day to night into a jersey black and white printed sleeveless dress from White House/Black Market for $128. If you want more, try the printed jersey top black trumpet pleated skirt. Add clear beaded accessories and patent leather peep-toe pumps or sandals to complete the style.

Color Pops: Crisp and clear, nothing electrifies your wardrobe like a shot of color. From poppy red, grass green, hot yellow to cobalt blue, color is painting personality back into the scene. If blue is a personal favorite, you’ll be in luck. Kenneth Cole Reaction highlights the trend with a blue and green stripe pattern jersey dress for $139. Like siren red? Go for a jersey sleevelhalter top from Shine with a black flounced skirt or wide legged pants. Top it off with beaded accessories and a handbag.052107FASHION2.jpg

Metallics Shine: Dance like no one is watching? Shine bright with the mesmerizing metallics this season and heads are sure to turn. Check out the silver ensembles at The Limited that will accent any style. Try a pair of silver sandals from ballet flats to platforms completing the look.

Eyelets: Taking a twist on the past. Today’s eyelet style is feminine, sexy and stylish. Try a white eyelet skirt from INC for $89 with a white tank to dance the night away. Or opt for an eyelet cropped jacket over a black fitted dress.

Like any dance, your wardrobe not only is about presenting yourself but balance. It’s about the right fit for you. Go for styles and shapes that flatter your figure and lifestyle. Sleeveless tops, flouced skirts and capris glide with ease with shapely jersey knits that compliment your shape and move with you not against. This includes wearing denim with a little lycra to bend when you do.
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When it comes to dancing, foundation is key; the same goes for your wardrobe. No matter the price tag, the right bra can transform a body shape and make the shoulders shine bright than to one with confidence. Go for a complimentary color or a clear strap to adjust to the new fashion trends.

And no wonder why women love to dance…it’s about the shoes! Wearing the right shoes is key to moving to the rhythm without a stumble. Leave the spiked heels at home, wear shoes that make you move. Heels should be stylish with a comfortable height. Secure straps add sex appeal and keep your feet groovin’ without falling out of your shoes. Check out www.zappos.com for all of the goodies. Locally, Dillards and Macys carry stylish shoes. However, if you are seriously wanting to dance, www.appledanceshoes.com carry the right shoes in trendy styles that will have you dancing like the stars.

Want to check out your new wardrobe on the dance floor but don’t have the steps? Check out Diana’s salsa classes at www.kamasalsa.com.

Beginner classes include:

Monday

6:15pm at The Carnegie in Covington, KY
8pm at Delta 1018 Fitness in Mt. Lookout

Tuesday

7pm at Newport on the Levee

Saturday

11am at Delta 1018 Fitness.

No partner necessary. No experience necessary. Wearing clothes with confidence-is necessary.

 

Click on the play button below to check out an exclusive Webcast interview with salsa dancing fashionista Diana Hoffman.

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I hope all you mother's out there had a great Mother's Day weekend!

Again, thanks for all the questions. The one that I'll answer this week is about motorcycles. Motorcycles have been a part of my life since I can remember. My older brother and younger bother ride. But this isn't about them…it's about us, ladies!

Over the last five years the number of women riders has increased dramatically. When I got my first bike in the early 80s, there were very few women riders on the road. I would see maybe two or three women all summer, if any. Now, it's going faster every year. I would say that I see at least four or five women riding every day that riders are out. Riding on the back is becoming a pastime. Don't get me wrong ladies, that's great if that is where you feel comfortable. But if you want something a little different, feel more in control and still get to hang out with your partner, get your own bike!

Guys are starting to come around with this. My brother's partner got her own bike after riding on the back for three years, now she'll never go back to riding "Bitch!" Men love that I ride. It is usually followed by, "I wish my partner liked to ride; she want's me to get ride of my bike" or "I use to ride until…" you can fill this in with several choicies but most of them include the word partner/girlfriend/significant other/wife made them get rid of it.

Ladies, instead of suggesting that your partner get ride of his/her bike, try driving one yourself. There's nothing else like it!

 

 

 

Oh my gosh, has it really been 3 weeks since I last blogged??  Wow, time sure flies when you’re busy.  Well, without going into details, things have been pretty chaotic with my life, so I should first apologize to my faithful blog readers on my lack of posts.  You know when your mom tells you haven’t blogged in a while, maybe it’s time to stop and take some time to do so. Undecided

 

Well, what’s new with me and my improvements?  I’m sorry to say, nothing too much.  Due to a crazy schedule and other things happening, I decided to forgo my maintenance program for the month of May.  I feel like I have stuck with my healthy lifestyle pretty darn good for the most part.  I’m still packing my lunch for work, and still eating healthy through the remainder of the day.  Wow, who would have thought that I would say that? Surprised

 

The only thing I know I have slacked on is my workouts.  It sucks too because this weather we have been having is wonderful!  Good news is I haven’t gained, and the scale is still going downward, but I know I could do better if I could get back to my daily workouts.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it though.  Yes, exercise is important, and just as important as eating healthy, but I just can’t do it all.  Like I said before, there are some things going on, and to sum it up…I’m in dire need of a vacation.  *Ahh, I’m thinking the shores of Black Lake, Michigan.  The cool Michigan air blowing across the lake, nature so perfect you just want to stay in that moment forever….*  Tongue out Snap out of it girl!

 

I have a confession everyone, something that has weighed on me for days.  Undecided I thought about buying a pack of cigarettes this week (insert dramatic soap opera music here).  Ok, ok, don’t freak out on me folks, I didn’t, but it crossed my mind on more than one occasion.  I need a release, something to comfort me in this trying time.  I thought of how easy it would be to just drive across town where nobody knows me, go in incognito with some dark shades and a hooded sweatshirt, and pass the money to the cashier like they do in the movies.  Oh, a pack of Camel Lights were beckoning me to come get them.  I had that feeling you get when you want to call an ex at 2 in the morning, then it hit me—you should never do that, and there are reasons not to.  That’s why you delete their phone number from your cell—for moments just like this.

 

I have gone 4 months without one, and I’ve come too far with the weight loss to go back.  I’m afraid that if I smoke just one, I’ll cave and pick it back up again.  They were my stress release, my comfort to a bad day, and I miss it, especially now. Frown I find myself second guessing my decision to quit.  I then find myself second guessing myself for second guessing myself in the first place.  Whew, that’s a tongue twister.  At any rate, with all that second guessing aside, I am still going strong.

 

Irritable and on the verge of insanity, yes, but I’m still going strong.

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Peaceful Warrior
Nick Nolte, Scott Mechlowicz, Amy Smart

Transcendent Zen or Pop Culture Aphorisms?

Peaceful Warrior is the name of a film that plays more like a made for TV movie with all of the bells and whistles of pop culture self help forums now available on any late night infomercial program or perhaps on the motivational speaker circuit.

Peaceful Warrior is a movie made from the book of the same name written by Dan Millmen, a motivational speaker whose story tells his life’s journey to truth and fulfillment. In fact, a declaration at the opening of the movie states,  Inspired by true events. So if a movie is inspired by true events and not necessarily based on true events, does this absolve the storyteller to explain the physical impossibility of Nick Nolte’s character a.k.a. dubbed Socrates, to be able to leap a 12 ft. building in the flash of an eye?

Come on everyone knows the current metaphors for the search for the meaning of life…..The one who is hardest to love—needs love the most.  You will never be better than you are now as well as you will never be less than you are now….The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination….. But did we have to be subjected to 120 minutes of pabulum?

Scott Mechlowicz plays the lead, gymnast, Dan Millman, in his youth. He certainly is credible as a first rate gymnast. He has the puppy dog eyes of a sad sack hit by life’s inevitable suffering and triumph only after discovering that one must always live in the moment. For the record, the moments he was on the big screen he brought great eye-candy appeal.

Nick Nolte as the gas station guru who dispenses prophetic ad nauseam decrying self adulation must be commended for his restrained performance.  Nolte’s performance is what made it bearable to sit through his character’s job of dispensing  a  pop culture bromide of current thinking that could pass for Zen, Buddhism or a number of any other self help or religious agendas. In short, Nolte enlightens us by preaching platitudes that all sound universal.

I’m not knocking the validity of these ideas. I am just suggesting there have been better film vehicles such as Seven Years in Tibet or Gandhi  to espouse the benefits of discipline and the search for enlightenment.

If the lesson learned from this movie is simply the adage…   "In life, concentrate on the journey; not on the goal.”  May I recommend you skip this movie and rent Little Miss Sunshine?  There’s a journey worth your time instead of this superfluous drib called, Peaceful Warrior.

 

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

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Five Things May 9: Finding the Right School

With the school year coming to a close, many parents will have to make a difficult decision this summer. For the first time they will have to decide where to send their child to school next year.
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Look here for past Five Things stories involving money and personal finance. More

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving relationships, ranging from friendships to marriage.More

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving family and children.More

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women's health

Look here for past Five Things stories involving women's health and fitness.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving your home and its upkeep.More

 

 

 

 

 

Look here for past Five Things stories involving beauty and hygene. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to share your ideas for "Five Things"? Click here!

 

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Question: I recently went through a bad break up and lost some weight, I have since put the weight back on but lost 2 inches in my hips. I have gone from a size 3-4 to a 2. How can I regain the inches and gain weight I am tired of shopping in the juniors department. At my age, most clothes are not appropriate in a professional forum.
– Lauren

Answer: OK, maybe I’m crazy. Well, no, we have established that already. Let’s start that all over. Maybe I’m not getting all the information here, but what I am getting is a little confusing. You lost weight because of a bad break up and now you want to gain it back in your hips. I’m sorry but almost every question I get has to do with taking inches off the hips. I’m going out on a limb here so bear with me. Let’s not put inches on your hips, let’s put good solid muscle on your butt and thighs because we want you back on the market looking hot! Trust me; saddlebags (just because everyone has them) are not the new black.

The exercise that I recommend the most is… of course “The Lunge," (25-35 reps on the same leg) but I want you to also find about a six floor stair case and do the stairs two at a time for two sets. Click here to see a video demonstration of Mountain Climbers. Mountain climbers do nothing but build your butt and help flatten your abdominals. So perform at least two sets for 60 seconds and you’ll be out of the juniors department before long sporting the new “bootylicious” you. Now that you’re back on the market, please let us in on some of the cheesy pick up lines guys use on you. It still amazes me…the stupidity some guys call “game." Viva la Mountain Climbers!

 

Click here to get your "One Day Free Pass" for Rocco's boot camp.

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    The first step to sprucing is to decide how big you want the project to be, what you want to accomplish and how much you want to spend.

    There's an abundance of resources to help you get through your project no matter how big or how small. Look through magazines like Veranda, Elle Décor, House Beautiful and Architectural Digest. Or check out the latest home décor products and trends in the online magazine Trendir at www.trendir.com.

    Plan A. The cheap quick fix. If that's your plan for fixing the place up, maybe all you need to do is rearrange the room and get rid of clutter. Get started by removing all the accessories from the room. Consider the function and focal point of the room.

    The focal point can be a piece of furniture, artwork or an architectural element in the room. Keeping in mind that you want to enhance the focal point, begin placing the essential pieces of furniture where they function best. Try to avoid the boxed in look with everything against the wall. Instead, create a softer look by placing furniture at an angle. Once you have the essential pieces in place, work with the complimentary pieces like end tables, ottomans and lamps.

    Now it's time to accessorize your new room. Group your accessories by theme, content, color and texture. Pick your favorites. Redistribute them in odd numbers. Before you put any accessory in the room, consider if it really compliments the room. If it doesn't, stop! Don't put it there. Clutter makes the room look smaller, unorganized and can detract from the focus of the room.

    Plan B involves more time and money, but you get to explore new options for your walls, windows, furniture and lighting.

    Walls
    Paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update a room. Faux finishes and a variety of techniques make paint a design tool with endless possibilities. Learn about the different techniques on www.profaux.com. For a simple but stylish coordinated look, Matt Knotts from High Street furniture and accessory store in Over-the-Rhine, suggests doing your walls in a flat paint finish and the woodwork the same color, but in a semi-gloss. By the way, your ceiling doesn't have to be white. Paint it a neutral color that matches the walls.

    Wallpaper, like paint, can be used in a variety of ways. It's not quite as easy to wallpaper a room as it is to paint, but either will quickly change the look and feel of the room. Use the two together. Paint three walls and paper the fourth with a bold large-scale pattern for a dramatic effect. Research the possibilities for wallpapering your walls at www.doityourself.com/stry/qnadecorate2.

    Windows
    Decisions, decisions, decisions! There's a lot to consider with windows. Do you want to emphasize the view, hide what's outside the window or see out during the day, but cover the window at night? There's a plethora of treatments to accommodate your needs. Of course, there are blinds, shades, shutters and fabric. Be daring; don't just think of two fabric panels to cover the window. Use an item you don't usually see as a window treatment. My bathroom window topper is an old corset. It works great and it was easy. I loosened the ties until the corset fit the window. It's attached to a curtain rod with Velcro. A simple lace curtain hangs below it. Click here to check out window treatments from Home and Garden Television.

     

    Furniture and Accessories
    To me, this is the fun part. It's not as much work as painting or wallpapering. It's more shopping, mixing and matching. Key point…shop around! The next time you go to Home Depot, just buy screws. Check out unique stores for fabrics, lighting fixtures and accessories.

    Drop by your local furniture store chain (I really can't believe I said that). But this will work as long as you don't do one-stop-shopping there. Don't stick to one design. Visit High Street, Bova or Voltage for unique furniture with a modern look.

    Update your hardware. Change the knobs on your cabinets and doors. Shop Anthropologie at www.anthropologie.com or drop in the store. It's a great place to do knob shopping.

    Stretch a tight budget. Shop the thrift store, garage sales, flea markets, or trade furniture with a friend. I once traded a ring for a dining room table and four chairs. Pull together an eclectic mix of furniture by painting all the pieces the same color. In my bedroom, I have an old four drawer metal Hallmark Card display unit that I use as my dresser, a bedside hospital stand I use as my nightstand and a tall metal laundry cabinet that holds my t-shirts. It's a fun mix of furniture that are totally functional all pulled together with paint in a lovely shade of butter crème.

    Don't be a chain store bore. Be creative! Add a little individuality to your home. Make it your style. Anyone can go to Pottery Barn and buy everything to match. Then you'll be just like the Joneses. You can visit the Joneses, but spruce your place up so you enjoy coming home.

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    Cassandra Mooar, the director at the International Academy in Cincinnati, says hair should maintain an acidic state to be at its shiniest. Acidic shampoos, conditioners and other styling products force the cuticle to lay smooth, which increases shine.
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    The cuticle is the outer layer of hair that is made up of long compressed bundles of Keratin (a protein) fibers. When cuticles are intact and lying flat they reflect light.

    Mooar recommends products in the Wella Color Preserve or Sebastian Laminates lines to boost hair and keep it shiny. These product lines are found only in salons.

    Sarah Hunterman, a stylist at Identity Hair Salon and Spa in Kenwood, agrees that the secret to maximizing shine is to get the cuticle layer to lie straight and smooth. She says that investing in conditioning treatments will help you achieve this. Hunterman says over-washing your hair can be counterproductive. Highlighting your hair can increase shine at first, but due to the peroxide, it can also damage the hair causing it to become dull. If you want to add color and minimize damage, try low lights.

    Mooar and Hunterman both suggest shine sprays to add everyday shine. Mooar says to look for products with dimethicone. Dimethicone is a type of silicone that can make hair soft, manageable, full, shiny and easier to comb. She recommends Wella System Professional Flashlight for instant glossiness.

    Hunterman warns to stay away from shine serums and other style products that you pump into your hand. She says that anything you apply with your hands can add greasiness and weigh your hair down. This can cause dullness. Instead opt for the spray, they have no hold, and won't weigh down hair.

    When using the spray shines, concentrate spraying from the mid-shaft to the ends. The roots do not need much because the hair in that area is new. Hunterman suggests using the Bed Head spray shine called Camera Ready. It not only adds brilliant shine, it also acts as a smoother and defrizzer. Another spray shine used at Identity Hair Salon and Spa is from the Aquage line.

    When styling hair, you may think that flat-ironing it will make it look the shiniest, but it also damages hair. The more you damage by flat-ironing, the more you will become dependent on the flatiron to reach the same level of shininess, Hunterman says. She says that taking the time to blow-dry your hair straight, and using a flatiron just on stubborn sections of hair, will keep you hair healthier.

    However straightening your hair every one in a while is fine, and it will add instant shine. Try using a leave-in conditioner before straightening. Also, as a side note, ceramic flatirons truly are less harmful to your hair. Ceramic styling appliances, everything from irons and hair dryers, to brushes are all around better for the health of your hair.

    Also available to smooth out the cuticle and pump-up the shine are Powerdose treatments at Identity Hair Salon and Spa. These treatments, Hunterman says, are customizable to each individual's type of hair or hair need. They are only $15, spray-on and can be asked for at your next salon appointment.

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    051407SOCIAL.jpg For evening entertaining, lighting has to be considered. Tiki torches and Christmas lights are a very simple, fun way to decorate a laid-back gathering such as a barbecue or block party. For a more formal gathering, you will want more elegant lighting options. The obvious solution is to use candles, but candles can present a risk if there is a large group. If you use candles, make sure to use some type of globe over them so nothing catches fire as a breeze blows by. Lanterns are a good alternative because they contain the flame (unless you use battery-operated lanterns) and they can be set on the table or hung from posts around the yard to be both functional and decorative.

    A more intimate and playful setting can be created by using an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. These are especially nice on cool nights or after a dinner party because not only do they provide light, they can be used to roast marshmallows. This might be a better late summer or fall activity, but can still be enjoyable in the summer as long as it is not too hot.

    Outdoor furniture and shelter are major considerations in hosting outdoor events. If you have the space and the money, a gazebo is a creative solution because it's beautiful and it provides both shade and seating. For a cheaper option, you can get a canopy (i.e., from Home Depot, $199) or a large umbrella. Canopies are really convenient if you plan on having food outside because you can set up tables and let the netting hang down to keep out pesky flies and bees.

    A truly fun piece for entertaining is this "barzebo," which is essentially a canopy that comes with a small bar and two bar stools (i.e., Home Depot, $399). Such a piece could be used for a more formal event, or made more casual by adding the tiki torches and Christmas lights. Either way, it makes entertaining as easy as it looks. Having a small bar outside is a simple matter of moving it to the right spot and stocking it with cold drinks, but it looks very impressive and shows your guests that you put a lot of thought into the event.
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    Once you have figured out lighting and furniture, it's time for the finishing touches that can take your party from good to fabulous! If you have patio furniture, make sure you have some throw pillows to add some of your personality and make your guests more comfortable. If not, think of how you want tables and chairs arranged (lawn chairs that you borrowed from neighbors will do just fine). If you're having a family-style meal, you'll want one large table or several small tables put together to form a large table. However, using small tables placed spread out from each other can encourage more conversation and help the guests get to know each other better. If you want music to enhance the atmosphere, it is better to purchase outdoor speakers and place them around the yard. They connect right to your stereo in the house and allow the music to permeate the whole yard better than bringing the stereo outside would.

    Everyone loves being outside in the summer, so think about some of these decorating ideas, get creative, and have fun entertaining!

     

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    Can that work wait until tomorrow? More than likely the answer is "yes." Between Blackberrys, cell phones and laptops, we've conditioned ourselves to remain connected, even when we don't have to be.

    Remaining plugged in at home can strain your personal relationships and rob you of the essential down time needed to rejuvenate yourself for the next workday.

    Check out the problems you may have on the job resulting from R&R deprivation, courtesy of mindtools.com:

    • Difficulty focusing
    • Harsh mood swings and rising workplace conflicts
    • Lack of fresh ideas
    • Loss of enthusiasm for your job


    Never fear, you can be saved from becoming the office grump by following these helpful tips:

    Leave the corporate gear at work. The best way to ensure you won't work at home is to ditch the trusty laptop and office gadgets. Odds are, the closer the Blackberry is to the sofa, the harder it is to avoid looking at it.

    Out of sight out of mind. Just as you physically prepare yourself to leave the office, take a mental break, too. Put all deadlines, e-mails and meetings on the back burner. Concentrate your thoughts on family, fun and friends.

    Create routines to help you unwind before you get home. Play your favorite CDs on the car ride home. Reward yourself for a hard day's work and stop for ice cream. Meet a friend at a park for a quick walk before heading home.

    Lose the uniform. Remaining in your corporate armor may make you feel as if you're still in work mode. Scrap the starched shirt and stilettos for a favorite pair of jeans and flip-flops.

    Set boundaries with your private life. Avoid making yourself accessible after work hours. Establish clear guidelines with co-workers on when you can be reached regarding business matters.

    We've all heard the saying "life is too short" and it really is. The average employee will spend 269 days and over 2,100 hours per year at work. So, believe it or not, the company can survive without you skipping Rover's walk to send that e-mail. Take a break from the corporate throne and enjoy your personal life!

     

    Use these resources to in your quest for happy and healthy work-life balance:

     

     

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