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Amy Scalia

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Amy Scalia with Cincy Chic and Amy Elberfeld from Styling with Amy share four fab ways to do dresses (even if you don't think you like them).

Whether you don’t want to show your legs or arms, not everyone likes dresses. Amy Elberfeld from Styling with Amy shares four ways to wear these wardrobe staples — even if you have a dress phobia. To learn more about Styling with Amy and Ava Gray Direct, contact Amy Elberfeld at 513-260-2696, amy@stylingwithamy.com or you can visit her website at www.stylingwithamy.com.

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Read on as our Editor-in-Chic writes to her daughter about an inspiring moment when a crowd’s attitude toward an unexpected power failure turned an ordeal into an adventure.

Our Editor-in-Chic shares a story about overcoming challenges and "dancing in the rain."
Our Editor-in-Chic shares a story about overcoming challenges and “dancing in the rain.”

Last night, at our annual Red, Pink and Blue event, we had a truly incredible experience that I’ll never forget. Not because we had a beautiful night, hundreds of attendees, or tons of awesome sponsors. It was because things went wrong. Horribly wrong, actually.

This is a picture of right before it happened. I was in the middle of my presentation at the event. Had just recognized our charities’ survivors, thanked our sponsors, was seconds away from starting the fashion show, and then … our generators blew. Out went the lights, the music, my mic. Everything. With everyone looking at me. There wasn’t anything we could do, so I said in the loudest voice I could “We just recognized some incredible survivors who overcame adversity with rockstar resilience. Let’s be inspired by that and make the most of this! YOU, our audience will now be our music and energy for the models to work this runway! Let’s do this!”

And wow did they work it! We had hoots, hollers, claps, and standing ovations to cheer the models down the runway. About halfway through, someone found a way to hardwire electric to the DJ’s music and the mic so we had sound to finish the show.

But I was almost in tears at that point. Not because I was mad that the generators failed, but how everyone was rallying in support — not focusing on what had gone wrong, or that it wasn’t what they initially expected. Instead, they were making the best of the situation, living in the spontaneity, and having fun with it.

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes… “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s learning to dance in the rain.”

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Our Editor in Chic shares the story of a plant that taught her a lesson about learning and adjusting.

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The hydrangea plant in our back yard is starting to bloom. I know, I know. It’s spring and that’s what plants do. But this plant has an interesting story.

It had big, beautiful flowers when we first moved into our home three years ago, and then it didn’t bloom for the next 2. I actually almost uprooted it last year because I thought it was dying, but then I learned that I was just pruning it at the wrong time of year. And now look at it!

The same holds true for a lot of things in life. They don’t “work” the way you want. You get frustrated and sometimes even give up hope. But just a little learning and adjusting can make you both blossom!

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Our Editor in Chic writes a letter to her daughter to share some big news and explain why she’s the best… big sister!

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Today, your “Big Sister” shirt shares some big news to friends and family! A short time ago, this was actually surprise news to us as well. No IVF or fertility treatments this time. A one in a million chance happened. To us. A few years after we thought we had the worst luck. I can’t help but think that you, our sweet little girl, and all the joy you’ve brought us over the past 22 months has something, if not everything, to do with it. That’s why you’re the best and I wrote this for you.

Lola shares news that she's going to be a big sister!
Lola shares news that she’s going to be a big sister!

“I whisper “you’re the best” as you sleep,
This is the meaning my heart will keep.
You bring out the best in me,
A person I never knew I could be.
A selfless love, deep with devotion,
All so effortlessly put into motion,
Because you’re the best.

I sleep less but dream more,
Wanting to give you what I never had before.
A hand to hold through every trial,
Or even carry you for a while.
Your laughter warms my every cell,
And pride so pure when you do well,
Because you’re the best.

I now see your daddy with different eyes,
As he comforts you to calm your cries.
You did the same for him not long ago,
Placed a seed of hope for his soul to sow.
To be the best father he could be,
Didn’t want frailness for you to see.
So he found strength at his weakest point,
even with pain in every joint,
Because you’re the best.

Life is so full now that you are here,
Hard recalling time before you my dear.
You were the missing piece all along,
Two songbirds without a song.
Now we are three,
soon four we will be.
Bringing sunshine when skies were grey,
You showed us the way,
Because you’re the best.”

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Our Editor in Chic writes a letter to her daughter about scars, and the decision to see them as blemishes or beautiful reminders.

Our Editor in Chic Amy Scalia writes a letter to her daughter Lola about the
Our Editor in Chic Amy Scalia’s husband, Pete, with daughter, Lola

When I was little, I fell off a swing and cut my leg. When bandaging me up, the nurse told me to be more careful because boys don’t like girls with scarred up legs.

That stuck with me, unfortunately. The once rough-and-tumble girl who hadn’t thought twice about bumps, bruises or cuts in the past was a lot more cautious, worried that her destiny with Prince Charming was now left in the lurch.

Turns out, I did find my Prince Charming in your daddy, and after 10 years, he still doesn’t care about that scar (or any of the other ones). I’ve actually been thinking a lot about what that nurse said lately, and how wrong she really was.

After the past three years, with your daddy’s double hip and double knee surgeries, he now has a lot of scars on his legs. At first he didn’t like them because they made him think about his missing “original parts.” But now, after everything has healed and he’s feeling MUCH better, we look at those scars to remind us of how far we’ve come.

b43957fe6ca6f921f1e5b1427c10abe1See, the weird thing about the painful stuff in life is that your mind wants to wash it all away like the ocean. With each tide that comes in, the ruts in the sand fill in over time. But when you have a scar, it’s a physical reminder of what happened. It never goes back exactly how it was.

Your daddy and I both feel very thankful that he was able to have the surgeries, find a new drug therapy that works for him, and have great doctors by his side to get him through it. But the scars remind us of what our family went through – hoped/prayed/fought for – to get us to this much better place in life.

You’re very curious right now. The other day, you pointed at the scars on your daddy’s knees and asked “What’s that?” and I loved his response. He told you that’s where he got sick and the doctors sewed him back up to make him stronger.

And it hit me. That’s where the nurse was wrong. Scars don’t make you unattractive. Scars aren’t something to be ashamed of. Scars are reminders. Beautiful, permanent reminders that you’re stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. The playground wasn’t avoided in fear of bumps and bruises. You showed up. You played. Yes, you got hurt, but you also healed. And you’re forever changed because of it.

 

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Our "Editor in Chic" launches a new column that shares notes she's writing to her newborn about lessons learned from life as a new family. Read on as she starts with the most important topic of all.

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Lola and my husband, Pete

You were born a beautiful, perfect, and healthy baby. For that, I will be eternally grateful and will never, ever take it for granted.

For years, health is something I took for granted, though. I didn’t think twice about being able to jump out of bed, pop into the kitchen to make a quick breakfast, throw on some clothes, and go about my day. I didn’t do anything horrible to damage my health – ate generally healthy things and exercised when I could – but it wasn’t something I fought for.

Today, we’re fighting for your daddy’s health. We have been for a while now, and we will for a while longer (after double hip replacements last year, we just learned he’s going to need double knee replacements next week). So, there’s no jumping, popping, throwing or doing anything quickly in his life right now. That will change, though, and we’re going to see to it, so he can be an active part of your life and chase you around… which is going to happen very soon, because you’re starting to stand already! Ack!

That’s the thing about health. Without it, everything else becomes just out of reach. You’re trapped. Right now, your daddy has to watch life happen from a chair or a bed, and that’s no way to live. I know he wants to run into the other room when he hears you cry, take you places, perform again (he’s a GREAT musician!), and do everything else he enjoys in life.

Seeing him like this, and helping him through it, has changed me in many ways. I genuinely feel grateful when my feet hit the ground every morning and I don’t feel pain to make that happen like your daddy does. I no longer look at food as something to make hunger go away. It’s a tool I use to give my body what it needs to do its job and fuel my day. And, my most recent epiphany: I no longer see exercising as a chore.

Especially as a woman, you hear about working out to “get your bikini body,” “lose that muffin top,” or “finally fit into skinny jeans.” Exercise is SO much more than how it makes you look. Sure, that’s a benefit, but – like many things in life – it’s what’s inside that counts. Your body is your one and only vehicle through life. Being physically fit is how you keep your engine strong, your parts from getting rusty, and drive to all the destinations you want to go on your journey of life.

When daddy started to get sick, and then I got pregnant, I was either too tired or didn’t have time to exercise like I once did frequently. But then I started to have joint pain, too. When standing up, getting out of bed and going up stairs started to hurt, it scared me. You couldn’t have two parents with sick bodies.

Unlike your dad’s rheumatoid arthritis-related pain, my joint pain was more related to weight gain and loosened tendons from pregnancy hormones. So, when I realized my pain was completely reversible if I just took better care of myself, I knew that’s what I had to do.

I’ve been exercising almost every day since and it’s a big part of my life again. Being active is a privilege not everyone has, so it should be embraced. I want you to see that being healthy isn’t about the bathing suit. It’s about maintaining your “vehicle” that will drive you to all the beautiful places this life has to offer.

Your dad and I both look forward to “driving” right alongside you to lots of those places in the future. That is, until you’re a teenager and you want boys to drive you places… you’ll have to talk to your father about that. 😉

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